Celadon Group reports lower 3Q earnings, higher revenue

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Celadon Group Inc. reported its financial and operating results for the three and nine months ended March 31, the third fiscal quarter of the company’s fiscal year ending June 30.

For the quarter, revenue increased 15.4 percent to $138.9 million in the 2008 quarter from $120.4 million in the 2007 quarter. Freight revenue, which excludes fuel surcharges, was up 6.8 percent to $112.4 million in the 2008 quarter from $105.2 million in the 2007 quarter. Pre-tax income decreased to $1.1 million in the 2008 quarter from $6.6 million for the same quarter last year.

For the nine months ended March 31, revenue increased 10.9 percent to $411.3 million in 2008 from $371.0 million for the same period last year. Freight revenue was up 6.4 percent to $340.8 million in 2008 from $320.3 million for the same period last year. Net income decreased 74.3 percent to $4.4 million in 2008 from $17.1 million for the same period last year.

“We believe that the softer freight environment and escalating diesel fuel prices are resulting in more highly leveraged truckload carrier failures,” said Steve Russell, chairman and chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based Celadon. “An increased number of trucking failures combined with a significantly lower level of Class 8 truck builds should improve the supply-and-demand balance in the truckload industry over the next few quarters.”

Russell said Celadon’s balance sheet and borrowing capacity continue to be strong. “We believe Celadon is well-positioned to weather what we view as a temporary economic low point,” he said.