Net Sales for the third quarter were $532 million, down 0.2% or $1 million, year over year. The net sales decrease was driven by a $6 million decrease in our Education segment, partially offset by a $5 million increase in our Trade Publishing segment. Within our Education segment, which includes our Basal business and our Extension businesses, the decline in year over year net sales was attributable to our Basal business, inclusive of international sales, which declined by $6 million from $301 million in 2016 to $295 million. Billings for the third quarter of 2017 were $584 million, down 6% or $36 million compared with $620 million for the same period in 2016. The decrease was driven by a $41 million decrease in our Education segment billings, slightly offset by a $5 million increase in our Trade Publishing segment billings. Within our Education segment, the decline in year over year billings was attributable to our Basal business, inclusive of international sales, which declined by $27 million from $338 million in 2016 to $311 million. Net income of $91 million in the third quarter of 2017 was slightly higher compared to a net income of $90 million in the same quarter of 2016, due primarily to the same factors impacting operating income offset by an unfavorable change in our income tax benefit of $5 million, from an income tax benefit of $16 million for the same period in 2016 to an income tax benefit of $11 million in 2017, primarily related to a change to our estimated annual effective tax rate during the prior year period. Click Read More below for additional information.
The Postal Regulatory Commission today released its Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report to the President and Congress. The report provides a summary of the main activities undertaken by the Commission throughout the year. By law, the Commission is required to submit an annual report to the President and the Congress concerning the operations of the Commission, including the extent to which regulations are achieving the rate-setting objectives of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. The Commission must also include in the report an estimate of the costs incurred by the Postal Service to provide certain services.
The Commission had a number of significant accomplishments in Fiscal Year 2018. In addition to reviewing and approving planned rate changes for Market Dominant and Competitive products and new product proposals, and formal complaint adjudication, the Commission continued its work on the 10-year review of the system for regulating rates and classes for Market Dominant products. The Commission also completed its thorough analysis of the institutional cost requirement for Competitive products and ultimately issued final rules on January 3, 2019, adopting a formula-based approach to annually calculate Competitive products’ appropriate share of institutional costs. Moreover, the Commission further took an active role in certain international postal policy matters and provided its views to the State Department on Universal Postal Union proposals on rates and classifications for Market Dominant products.
The complete report of the Commission’s activities throughout Fiscal Year 2018 is available on the Commission’s website, www.prc.gov.