Swift 2Q profit up 53% on higher surcharges, rates

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Swift Transportation said today, July 19, that second-quarter profit rose 53 percent on higher rates and fuel surcharges. Quarterly earnings rose to $45.5 million, compared to $29.8 million during the same period last year. Revenue in the second quarter grew 2 percent to $813.1 million from $798.3 million during the same period last year.

The company said without income from its fuel surcharges, revenue in the quarter would have decreased by 3.2 percent to $686.2 million. Swift blamed the decrease on a reduction in the number of trucks it had on the road by 1,426 line-haul tractors, although that decrease was partially offset by a 4 percent increase in revenue per loaded mile.

Robert W. Cunningham, president and chief executive officer of Phoenix-based Swift, said the company is experiencing “an extremely tight driver market that is as challenging as I have seen in my career. We are fundamentally optimistic about our position in the industry, and we remain focused on improving our bottom line, delivering increasing earnings per share and meeting the expectations of our customers. We are also making significant strides in improving our safety program, risk management practices, and employee accountability and morale. I could not be more proud of how our people are tackling our challenges and opportunities with equal integrity and grit.”

Second-quarter results for 2006 and 2005 included a $600,000 benefit and a $507,000 expense. The most recent period also includes a $4.8 million boost from a reduction in the company’s 401(k) match for employees that do not contribute to the plan themselves, as well as a $6.9 million benefit from improvements in its worker compensation claims management.