Increases in sales of e-books and digital audiobooks and higher online sales helped to cushion the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic at Penguin Random House, parent company Bertelsmann reported this morning. Total revenue in the first half of 2020 fell 1.4% at PRH from the comparable period a year ago, dropping to €1.63 billion. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) fell 7.9%, to €209 million. In April, Bertelsmann also acquired the remaining 25% stake in PRH that had been held by Pearson. The U.S. had the best performance among PRH’s international companies, with sales rising 5.2%, to €990 million. “The coronavirus pandemic had a negative impact on the company’s businesses due to the extensive closures of local bookstores,” Bertelsmann reported. “In contrast, the US business demonstrated particular resilience, partially offsetting reductions in other countries.”
The Postal Service announced it will implement upgraded service standards for its USPS Retail Ground (RG) and Parcel Select Ground (PSG) products effective Aug. 1, 2022. Within the contiguous United States, service standards for these products will be accelerated from two- to eight-days to two- to five-days for the same affordable price. Items containing hazardous materials or live animals are not eligible for the upgraded service standards.
RG is a ground shipping product for packages, thick envelopes and tubes (with a maximum weight of 70 pounds) that are not required to be mailed via First-Class Mail service and are available only through retail channels. PSG is an economical ground delivery service similar to RG for commercial shippers.
The Postal Service is aligning the RG and PSG service standards with the current First-Class Package Service (FCPS) standards within the contiguous US. Processing this mail with FCPS packages will enhance customer service and better optimize the Postal Service’s package processing and surface transportation networks.
“Upgrading service standards for Retail Ground and Parcel Select Ground products is another way we are improving delivery for our customers,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “Offering faster, affordable delivery is how we will become the best in the industry.”
On March 21, 2022, the Postal Service filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission for an advisory opinion regarding proposed changes to the service standards for RG and PSG competitive products. Following a hearing on the record, on June 9, 2022, the Commission issued an advisory opinion acknowledging the change improves service, and therefore generally benefits mailers and is in the public interest. The Commission made certain recommendations in its opinion, and the Postal Service will, consistent with those recommendations, closely monitor the impacts of the change to ensure it achieves the anticipated operational and customer service benefits.
more at: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2022/0623-usps-accelerates-delivery-for-retail-ground.htm