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Canada Post posts first-quarter loss on falling letter mail revenue

Canada Post vehicles sit outside a sorting depot in the Ville St-Laurent borough of Montreal, in a June 6, 2011 photo

Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada Post had a $27-million loss before taxes in the first quarter of this year amid an overall drop in revenue as it handled lower volumes of bills and statements delivered by mail.

The Canada Post segment of the Crown corporation's revenue from operations was $1.468-billion, down from $1.513-billion in the comparable period of 2013.

The volume of transaction mail – mainly bills and other statements – dropped by 6.9 per cent compared with a year earlier but that was partially offset by an increase in domestic parcel volumes, which were 4.9 per cent higher.

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In the first quarter of 2013, Canada Post had a profit – mainly due to an unusual gain from the sale of a Vancouver plant.

Canada Post's profit before tax for the three months ended March 30, 2013, was $68-million.

The postal service is the core of the Canada Post Group of companies, which also includes the Purolator courier service and other business segments.

The group's total loss before tax in the first quarter of 2014 was $37-million, including an $11-million loss at Purolator and a $2-million profit at the logistics segment. Revenue for the whole group was $1.868-billion including $386-million from Purolator, the second-largest segment after Canada Post.

The group's total profit before tax in the first quarter of 2013 was $51-million, including a $12-million loss at Purolator and a $1-million profit from logistics. Revenue for the whole group was $1.904-billion including $379-million from Purolator.

Editor's note: An earlier online version of this story tied the sale of Canada Post's Vancouver plant to the first-quarter 2014 results, but that sale was made in the first quarter of 2013 and had no effect on Q1 2014 results.

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