Quality Distribution reports 1Q net loss, acquires tank wash operation

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Quality Distribution announced Monday, May 7, results for its first quarter ended March 31. The Tampa, Fla.-based company incurred a net loss of $95,000, compared to net income of $4.5 million for the same period last year. Total revenue was $178.1 million, compared with $178.8 million for the same period last year. Revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, was $159.0 million this quarter as compared with $160.3 million last year.

Quality said transportation revenues were relatively flat from last year due to softer-than-anticipated demand and decreased load counts, which were offset by increased prices. Operating results were impacted by a continuation of the softness in demand the company experienced in the fourth quarter of last year, but demand did pick up modestly in March, the company said. Additionally, the quarter was impacted negatively by an increase in insurance expense relating to several severe incidents which occurred early in the quarter.

“While our revenues and operating results in the first quarter were below expectations, we began to see an increase in demand late in the first quarter, a trend which has continued into the early part of the second quarter,” said Jerry Detter, Quality’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We are seeing moderate volume increases over the prior year, as well as moderate price increases, and are optimistic that this trend will continue.”

Quality also announced that effective May 1, it acquired the assets of Brite Clean, a tank wash operation with annual revenues of about $12 million, and facilities located in Carteret, N.J.; Bensalem, Pa.; Houston and Chicago. Terms were not announced.

“The acquisition of Brite Clean will enhance our position as a leader in the tank wash business and strengthens our presence in the Northeast,” Detter said. “We expect this to be a modestly accretive transaction for the remainder of the year.”