The U.S. Postal Service, projecting a profit for 2003, plans $2.5 billion in capital spending for the year, up 70% from this year. The capital plan, approved by the USPS Board of Governors on Sept. 6, includes $755 million for facilities, more than triple the 2002 level. But USPS still has a freeze on many types of new construction, postal officials say.
In February 2001, the Postal Service put a hold on most of its $400 million in planned new construction commitments for the year. USPS spokesman Mark Saunders says the construction freeze is still in effect, except for projects where there is an energency situation, a threat to employee or customer safety or a modification to an already-signed contract.
Some of the $755 million for facilities in 2003 will address geographic areas with growing populations, USPS spokesman Gerry Kreienkamp says. But he says that much of that "will be in maintaining or expanding existing space, rather than new construction."
Kreienkamp adds, "We're not engaging in wholesale new construction" at it had in past years. By comparison, in 1990, postal facilities commitments exceeded $1.5 billion.
Thanks to rigorous cost-cutting, plus small revenue gains, USPS is projecting $600 million in net income for 2003, compared with an estimated loss of $1.2 billion in its fiscal 2002, which ended Sept. 6. Revenue is projected to rise to $70.4 billion in 2003, up 6% from this year's estimated level.