Canada Post reported Wednesday that earnings before taxes fell 27 per cent in 2010, to $233 million.

The Crown corporation said volume in its letter mail business fell by 4.5 per cent from the year earlier, for the fourth straight year. When total volumes were included — with parcels and direct marketing mail — volume fell by 1.8 per cent from 2009.

Revenue totalled $7.45 billion, up from $7.31 billion the previous year.

The company said its pension plan continued to weigh on its results in 2010. It made $746 million in cash contributions to the plan in the period.

After taxes, Canada Post reported a $439-million profit, up from $281 million in 2009, helped by a one-time tax-related gain.

Canada Post is part of the Canada Post Group, which includes subsidiaries Purolator and SCI Group and Innovapost, a joint venture with CGI Group.

The Canada Post segment accounted for almost 80 per cent of the Group's revenues in 2010.

With files from The Canadian Press