Marten Transport posts lower 4Q net profit, higher revenue

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Marten Transport on Monday, Jan. 28, announced its financial and operating results for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31. For the fourth quarter, net income was $3.0 million compared with $5.2 million for the same quarter of 2006. For 2007, net income was $15.0 million compared with $24.5 million for 2006.

Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload and logistics operations, increased 10.0 percent to $144.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 from $131.7 million in the 2006 quarter. For 2007, operating revenue increased 7.9 percent to $560.0 million from $518.9 million in 2006.

Truckload revenue increased 3.7 percent to $123.2 million from $118.8 million in the 2006 quarter. For 2007, truckload revenue increased 2.7 percent to $490.5 million from $477.7 million in 2006.

Logistics revenue, which consists of revenue from brokerage and intermodal operations, increased 67.6 percent to $21.6 million from $12.9 million in the 2006 quarter. For 2007, logistics revenue increased 68.5 percent to $69.5 million from $41.2 million in 2006.

Operating revenue included fuel surcharges of $26.0 million and $87.1 million for the fourth quarter and yearly periods of 2007, compared with $17.8 million and $77.3 million for the fourth quarter and yearly periods of 2006. Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, increased 4.3 percent to $118.8 million in the 2007 quarter and 7.1 percent to $472.9 million in the 2007 year.

“As we expected, industrywide capacity has continued to exceed freight demand, which has pressured freight rates, fuel surcharge reimbursement, nonrevenue miles and miles per tractor,” said Randolph L. Marten, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Mondovi, Wis.-based company. “In that difficult environment, our plan for the fourth quarter was to decrease the number of tractors in our fleet to allow us to improve average miles per tractor and focus on the best available freight. We reduced our average fleet size by approximately 100 tractors from this year’s third quarter.”

Strong fleet management and a focus on service with well-established customer relationships allowed the company to hold average truckload revenue per loaded mile, net of fuel surcharges, steady from the fourth quarter of 2006, Marten said. “We still expect industrywide capacity to exceed demand at least into the second quarter of 2008,” he said. “In light of those general economic assumptions, our goal is to continue to maintain our rate structure by focusing on profitable freight and strong service performance, while we aggressively control our costs.”