# in the year to September 2008

#### mt1183

##### New Member
The whole sentence is It is expecting a third consecutive annual loss this year, after losing \$2.8 billion in the year to September 2008.

does it mean a whole year from Sep.2008 to Sep.2009 or Sep.2007 to Sep.2008 ?

##### Senior Member
The reason there is a "third consecutive" loss is that the financial year is divided into quarters. First quarter: January, February March. Second quarter: April, May, June. Third quarter: July, August, September.

So I believe the sentence is saying that from 1 January 2008 to 30 September 2008, there has been a loss. Although I must admit that if I weren't supporting my "financial quarters" theory and just reading the sentence as a normal human being oblivious to financial concerns that I would think they're talking about 1 January to 1 September... but quarters is how global finances are measured these days, so I believe they mean "to and through September 2008."

The short answer to your question is the first nine months of 2008. (My opinion, of course.)

Edit: Ignore all this... it's rubbish. I've been persuaded by panjandrum's explanation in message #6.

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#### lulu22

##### Member
Do you know for sure that they are discussing a fiscal year?

If so, then I think they mean 'up to' September 2008.

If they use a calender year, it could mean from January 2008 to September 2008.

Good luck!

#### Apophis

##### Senior Member
What does the preposition "to" mean, please? "... to September.".
Does it mean the same as "until"?
Thanks.

#### mt1183

##### New Member
What does the preposition "to" mean, please? "... to September.".
Does it mean the same as "until"?
Thanks.

in my understanding , yes

#### panjandrum

##### Lapsed Moderator
It is expecting a third consecutive annual loss this year, after losing \$2.8 billion in the year to September 2008.

"in the year to September" means, to me, in the 12 months up to and including September.

The original statement talks about annual loss so I assume it means the loss for a period of a year. That makes it difficult to have three of them in one year.
Instead, I think that they are anticipating that this year they will report their third annual loss in a row. The first such loss was in 2007 for the year to September 2007, the second in 2008 for the year to September 2008, and the third (not yet announced but expected) for the year to September 2009.

#### mt1183

##### New Member
the sentence is from an article published on Oct.31,2009.
Dosn't the annual loss means for the whole year of 2009 ?
when it says consecutive annual loss , isn't the comparison made year-on-year? if it is , why then it is "after" just nine months instead of a whole year? I don't get it....

##### Senior Member
It is expecting a third consecutive annual loss this year, after losing \$2.8 billion in the year to September 2008.

"in the year to September" means, to me, in the 12 months up to and including September.

The original statement talks about annual loss so I assume it means the loss for a period of a year. That makes it difficult to have three of them in one year.
Instead, I think that they are anticipating that this year they will report their third annual loss in a row. The first such loss was in 2007 for the year to September 2007, the second in 2008 for the year to September 2008, and the third (not yet announced but expected) for the year to September 2009.

In the future, I think I'm just going to wait to hear what you have to say. Mine sounded so good until I read yours... and now I agree about the third annual loss (three years in a row).

#### panjandrum

##### Lapsed Moderator
the sentence is from an article published on Oct.31,2009.
Dosn't the annual loss means for the whole year of 2009 ?
when it says consecutive annual loss , isn't the comparison made year-on-year? if it is , why then it is "after" just nine months instead of a whole year? I don't get it....
No, it is not for nine months in 2009, it is for a full year.
The comparison is made year-on-year (see my previous post).
We don't know for certain, but as the last annual figures were for the year - the 12 months - to September 2008, I assume that the figures they are expected to report are for the 12 months to September 2009.
That is, the 12 months from October 2008 through to September 2009.

In the future, I think I'm just going to wait to hear what you have to say. Mine sounded so good until I read yours... and now I agree about the third annual loss (three years in a row).
It may make it easier for UK folk that company accounts here are reported annually on the anniversary of the company's incorporation (unless the company applies for a change of date). So there is no inherent relationship between company financial years and government fiscal years.

##### Senior Member
the sentence is from an article published on Oct.31,2009.
Dosn't the annual loss means for the whole year of 2009 ?
when it says consecutive annual loss , isn't the comparison made year-on-year? if it is , why then it is "after" just nine months instead of a whole year? I don't get it....

First, the date of the article is important... thank you.
Second, if I didn't know this was written on 31 October 2009, I would have guessed the three years were 2006, 2007 and now 2008 (projecting an annual loss even though there were three or four months to go). But the date of the article throws that idea out.

How about the sentences before your sentence? Do you have those or a link to the article?

##### Senior Member
It may make it easier for UK folk that company accounts here are reported annually on the anniversary of the company's incorporation (unless the company applies for a change of date). So there is no inherent relationship between company financial years and government fiscal years.

Interesting. In Hong Kong -- the former British colony Hong Kong -- I believe every company's fiscal year runs from 1 April to 31 March of the following year, unless you specify otherwise.

#### mt1183

##### New Member
No, it is not for nine months in 2009, it is for a full year.
The comparison is made year-on-year (see my previous post).
We don't know for certain, but as the last annual figures were for the year - the 12 months - to September 2008, I assume that the figures they are expected to report are for the 12 months to September 2009.
That is, the 12 months from October 2008 through to September 2009.

Now I understand. Thank you.

First, the date of the article is important... thank you.
Second, if I didn't know this was written on 31 October 2009, I would have guessed the three years were 2006, 2007 and now 2008 (projecting an annual loss even though there were three or four months to go). But the date of the article throws that idea out.

How about the sentences before your sentence? Do you have those or a link to the article?

...can't find the link, but here is the preceding sentences：
In the year to March 2008 India Post handled 6 billion pieces of ordinary post, down from over 15 billion at the start of the decade. First-class letters dropped by 9% in the first half of this year at Finland’s Itella; junk mail fell by 16%. America’s postal service is in crisis as volumes fall. It is expecting a third consecutive annual loss this year, after losing \$2.8 billion in the year to September 2008.

##### Senior Member
...can't find the link, but here is the preceding sentences：
In the year to March 2008 India Post handled 6 billion pieces of ordinary post, down from over 15 billion at the start of the decade. First-class letters dropped by 9% in the first half of this year at Finland’s Itella; junk mail fell by 16%. America’s postal service is in crisis as volumes fall. It is expecting a third consecutive annual loss this year, after losing \$2.8 billion in the year to September 2008.

Thanks for the additional information... I think panjandrum is correct but I'm at a loss to explain to myself why we're talking about "to September 2008" in a report that is 13 months later (October 2009). The only explanation that comes to mind is that the fiscal year for the USPS is from October to September of the following year. But if that were true, it's now October 2009 and the fiscal year for 2009 would be over so no "expecting" would be expected -- you would know for sure whether it was the third annual loss or not. Just one more thing in life I will probably never understand.

#### JamesM

##### Senior Member
Could it be that the expected annual loss is on a calendar year basis and the loss being discussed is on the year going back to September 2008? In other words, they are projecting an annual loss based on the fact that the last four quarters have experienced a combined loss of \$2.8 billion?

I don't know, but it is one way that makes sense of the sentence.

#### MJRupeJM

##### Senior Member
Thanks for the additional information... I think panjandrum is correct but I'm at a loss to explain to myself why we're talking about "to September 2008" in a report that is 13 months later (October 2009). The only explanation that comes to mind is that the fiscal year for the USPS is from October to September of the following year. But if that were true, it's now October 2009 and the fiscal year for 2009 would be over so no "expecting" would be expected -- you would know for sure whether it was the third annual loss or not. Just one more thing in life I will probably never understand.

The USPS is a government organization, so it ends its fiscal year on September 31, 2009. In the U.S., the government's yearly budget always covers Oct. 1 - Sept. 31, so government organizations use it as their fiscal year. So, the previous interpretations of the third consecutive year being Oct. 1 2008-Sept. 31 2009 are correct.

##### Senior Member
The USPS is a government organization, so it ends its fiscal year on September 31, 2009. In the U.S., the government's yearly budget always covers Oct. 1 - Sept. 31, so government organizations use it as their fiscal year. So, the previous interpretations of the third consecutive year being Oct. 1 2008-Sept. 31 2009 are correct.

Thanks for the confirmation. Leaving me only wondering why the "annual loss" couldn't be confirmed, but only predicted, a month later in the article. Perhaps it takes more than a month to really know... in any case, it's a small thing. Again, thank you.

#### panjandrum

##### Lapsed Moderator
Thanks for the confirmation. Leaving me only wondering why the "annual loss" couldn't be confirmed, but only predicted, a month later in the article. Perhaps it takes more than a month to really know... in any case, it's a small thing. Again, thank you.
It seems to take large organisations a considerable time to finalise their annual accounts.

HERE is a relevant press release from the US Postal Service about their 2008 annual report.
The press release is dated 13 November 2008 and advises that the annual report has just been approved by the Postal Service Board of Governors and will be available to the public in December.