The U.S. Postal Service today announced its financial results for the 2021 third quarter ended June 30, reporting a net loss of approximately $3.0 billion, compared to a net loss of approximately $2.2 billion for the same quarter last year. Excluding the combined effects of non-cash workers' compensation adjustments due to fluctuations in discount rates and other actuarial revaluations, the loss for the quarter would have been approximately $2.3 billion, compared to a loss of approximately $2.4 billion for the same period last year. The Postal Service reported operating revenue of approximately $18.5 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2021, an increase of $845 million, or 4.8 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. Marketing Mail revenue increased by approximately $1.0 billion, or 42.2 percent, on volume growth of approximately 4.3 billion pieces, or 38.6 percent. Marketing Mail experienced steep volume declines at the onset of the pandemic last year, but has been rebounding as the economy continues to recover. First-Class Mail revenue increased by $54 million, or 1.0 percent, on volume growth of 130 million pieces, or 1.1 percent, as the economy continues to recover. Shipping and Packages revenue decreased by $646 million, or 7.8 percent, on a volume decline of 300 million pieces, or 14.1 percent, compared to the same quarter last year, as a pandemic surge in demand for package deliveries began to abate.
The publishing industry faces continuing supply chain issues and paper shortages while another set of challenges have appeared in early 2022, employee resignations and work/life balance. These challenges were the focus of the webinar, “Publishing Now ’22: Driving Business Forward,” presented by PW with support from Westchester Publishing Services on March 22.
After two years in which book sales did surprisingly well despite problems posed by the pandemic, the industry faces more uncertainties in 2022 because of inflation and rising costs that are eating into companies’ operating margins, said Jim Milliot, editorial director of PW: “It’s safe to say things are a little more complicated.”
Jim Fetherston, president and CEO at the printer Worzalla, was quick to point to the root cause of printing delays—the steady closing of printing plants has resulted in “North American print capacity being at historic low levels,” while demand for books remains extremely high.
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