- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 7, 2002

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Postal Service is finishing the fiscal year in better financial condition than anticipated, thanks to an aggressive campaign of cost-cutting, including a major cut in staff.

Postmaster General John E. Potter said yesterday the agency expects to finish the fiscal year this month with a $1.2 billion loss. The post office had expected to lose $1.35 billion for the year, and at times after the terrorist attacks and anthrax-by-mail contamination loss estimates threatened to reach several billion dollars.

In addition to the improvement this year, continued cost cutting and the rate increase that took effect this summer are expected to push the post office into the black in 2003 with a profit of $600 million, he said.

Mr. Potter repeated his promise that postal rates won't go up again until at least 2004.

He spoke at the monthly meeting of the Postal Service board of governors.

Richard J. Strasser, the post office's chief financial officer, said yesterday mail volume continues to be threatened by electronic mail and strong competition for package business.

He said the post office expects to finish fiscal 2002 with $66.5 billion in revenue and $67.7 billion in expenses.

In 2003, he said, the expectation is for revenue of $70.4 billion and spending of $69.8 billion.

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