The Canada Post Group of Companies reported a profit before tax of $51 million in the first quarter of 2013, compared with a pretax loss of $73 million in the first quarter of 2012.
The significant gain was driven by the sale of a mail processing plant in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, for $109 million, the company said in a written statement. If not for the gain from the sale, Canada Post Group of Companies — which refers to Canada Post and its subsidiaries Purolator, SCI Group and Innovapost — would have had a quarterly loss before tax of $58 million.
The core Canada Post segment would have reported a loss before tax of $41 million in the first quarter if not for the sale of the Vancouver plant. Instead, the segment reported a profit before tax of $68 million, compared with a loss before tax of $59 million in the same period last year. The plant was one of Canada Post’s properties and was disposed of in January 2013; a new facility is being built at the Vancouver International Airport.
Declining volumes continued to underscore the changing needs of Canadians for postal services and the need for Canada Post to transform the business, the company said. The segment's total volumes declined more than 136 million pieces in the first quarter year-over-year, and revenue from operations was essentially flat despite price increases. Canada Post expects a “substantial financial loss” in 2013.