Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Postal Service ended its fiscal year 2011 with a net loss of $5.1 billion, compared with an $8.5 billion loss the year earlier. That figure was much less than originally projected due to recent legislation allowing the Postal Service to postpone until Nov. 18 a mandated payment to prefund health-benefits for postal retirees.
For the year ended Sept. 30, total mail volume declined 1.7% from 2010, to 168 billion pieces. First-class mail revenue continued its year-over-year decline, dropping 5.8% to $32.2 billion, down from the $34.2 billion last year.
While not able to make up for losses in first-class mail, which comprises about half of its revenue, the Postal Service's commercial services experienced growth. Revenue from standard mail, used by direct-mail advertisers, increased 2.9% from the year earlier, to $17.8 billion; package services logged $1.6 billion, up 4%.