Arkansas Best says 1Q net income up 78%

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Arkansas Best Corp. announced today, April 23, a 78 percent increase in first-quarter 2008 net income of $8.5 million, compared to $4.8 million in the first quarter of 2007. Arkansas Best’s 2008 first-quarter revenue grew to $447.5 million from $427.8 million in the first quarter of last year.

ABF Freight System Inc., the company’s largest subsidiary, had first-quarter 2008 revenue of $427.7 million, a per-day increase of 4.5 percent compared to first-quarter 2007 revenue of $412.6 million. Operating income in this year’s first quarter was $12.9 million compared to $5.8 million during the first quarter of 2007. ABF’s first-quarter 2008 operating ratio improved to 97.0 percent from 98.6 percent during the first quarter of 2007.

“During the first three months of this year, ABF displayed solid execution and provided excellent service to our customers in the midst of what continues to be a difficult freight environment,” said Robert A. Davidson, president and chief executive officer of Fort Smith, Ark.-based Arkansas Best.

ABF’s first-quarter 2008 total weight per day was flat compared to the first quarter of 2007. “Though business levels remain depressed, quarterly year-over-year tonnage trends have continued to improve since the third quarter of 2007,” Davidson said. “ABF continues to benefit from additional shipments moving in regional freight lanes. Focus on cost control, while matching labor expense with available business levels, helped ABF’s performance in the first quarter. I am pleased to note that the ABF team improved shipment- and weight-per-hour productivity measures while also increasing the level of service and cargo care to our customers.”