Canada Post’s first quarter 2021 financial results were released today. In the first quarter, the pandemic continued to impact our operations, with higher costs offsetting higher revenue from the Parcels business.
While the Canada Post segment recorded a loss before tax of $77 million, revenue for the segment increased by $276 million, or 12.8 per cent, from the same period of the previous year. The year-over-year comparisons are affected by the fact the Corporation only began to see impacts from COVID-19 toward the end of the first quarter of 2020.
Operating expenses rose by $287 million compared to the first quarter of the previous year, in part due to additional expenditures for special leaves to support child and elder care, additional health and safety supplies, increased overtime expenses and wage increases. Growing parcel volumes also continued to mean higher costs for collection and parcel processing and delivery.
Transaction Mail and Direct Marketing continued to decline as marketers cancelled or delayed mailings and shifted to digital channels. Transaction Mail volumes fell by 29 million pieces, or 6.9 per cent, from the same quarter a year earlier, as revenue declined by $10 million or 4.4 per cent. Direct Marketing revenue fell by $14 million, or 8.8 per cent, from the same quarter a year earlier, as volumes declined by 62 million pieces, or 9.7 per cent.
The Parcels business continued to show strong gains, with revenue growth more than offsetting revenue declines in Transaction Mail and Direct Marketing. Total Parcels revenue increased $286 million, or 38.4 per cent, from the same period a year earlier, as total volumes rose by 23 million pieces or 27.3 per cent.
For more details, see the news release.