Bludgeoned by declining transaction mail volumes, Canada Post on Thursday reported a before-tax loss of $27 million for the first quarter of 2014.
It said the volumes of letters, bills and statements being sent through mail dropped 6.9 per cent in the quarter, while parcel volumes jumped 4.9 per cent.
It losses for the first quarter of 2014 may have actually been bigger had it not been for the sale of its processing plant in downtown Vancouver.
The sale of the plant factored in a $109 million gain for Canada Post. It would have reported a loss before tax of $58 million in the first quarter if not for the sale of the processing plant.
Canada Post's parcel revenue in the first quarter of 2014 grew to $23 million, or 7.1 per cent. Revenue in domestic parcels, the largest product category, jumped by $14 million. Volumes grew by 4.9 per cent or more than 1.2 million pieces versus a year ago.
Revenue from transaction mail dropped 6 per cent or by $50 million as volumes plummeted by 79 million pieces or 6.9 per cent.
In December 2013, Canada Post announced a Five-Point Action Plan that will help it reduce costs significantly to achieve sustained financial self-sufficiency.
"The five initiatives are: to convert roughly five million households with delivery at the door to community mailbox delivery over five years; to adopt a new approach to Lettermail pricing; to expand the convenience of the retail network; to streamline operations; and to address the cost of labour."
In March, Canada Post raised the prices of stamps which it said it hoped will help recover some of those losses in the second quarter.