11/26/2014 11:19 EST | Updated 01/26/2015 05:59 EST

Canada Post posts $13M profit in 3rd quarter of 2014

The corporation said Wednesday it posted a pre-tax $13-million profit in 2014's third quarter, which is $142 million more than the same quarter a year ago, for a pre-tax total of $39 million in profits through the first nine months of this year.

It posted a pre-tax, $53 million profit in 2014's second quarter, the first profitable quarter since 2010.

"Largely as a result of the Lettermail price adjustment put in place in the second quarter, revenue from Transaction Mail … rose by 13.7 per cent to $750 million in the third quarter compared to the same period in 2013," Canada Post said in the release.

Almost three million more parcels went through Canada Post in the 2014 third quarter than in the same 2013 quarter, leading an 8.2 per cent growth in parcel-related revenue to $337 million.

Canada Post also said "highly volatile" employee benefit costs went in its favour last quarter, as costs decreased by $48 million — a total of $161-million less in 2014 than the first three quarters of 2013.

Revenue from direct marketing mailouts dropped by $15 million in the third quarter this year compared to last, when it was $294 million.

800,000 homes switching to community mailbox

On Wednesday, the corporation said about 100,000 homes have been switched to community mailboxes, about 700,000 are in the process of doing so and another 200,000 or so will be notified next month.

As part of those operations, mail is being moved from plants in cities such as Ottawa, Hamilton and London to Montreal and Toronto, as well as from Saint John to Halifax.

Canada Post said it spent $13 million less on labour in 2014's third quarter than in the same 2013 quarter, because of "streamlining and modernization."

The decline in mail volumes in the 2014 third quarter comes after a second quarter during which it slowed somewhat unexpectedly, which Canada Post said could have been related to mail from two provincial elections.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is challenging the end of urban door-to-door mail delivery in Federal Court, saying it violates Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by taking away rights from people with disabilities, and that the move didn't get the parliamentary approval that's required.