Postal Service tallies $5.1B loss even as revenues rise

WASHINGTON - The Postal Service is reporting a $5.1 billion loss last year -- but that's a slight improvement over the previous year.

The loss reflects continued erosion in the delivery of first class mail as well as expensive mandates for funding retiree health care.

There was good and bad news in the Postal Service's year-end results. Revenues were up, and it made an operating profit of $1.2 billion, reflecting continued growth in its package delivery business.

But a special rate surcharge is set to expire next year, which promises to cut revenues by $2 billion annually, and volume of mail delivery should continue to shrink. Expenses continue to rise despite slower mail delivery.

The service is still seeking relief from the mandate to "pre-fund" retiree health benefits.