C.H. Robinson says profit, revenue both up

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C.H. Robinson Worldwide on Tuesday, Jan. 27, reported a fourth-quarter profit of $88.9 million, up from $85.3 million during the year-ago period. Revenue for the San Francisco-based transportation company was $1.955 billion, up from $1.952 billion.

“We are pleased that despite the increasingly difficult economic environment, we were able to achieve double-digit gross profit and earnings growth in 2008,” said John P. Wiehoff, chairman and chief executive officer of C.H. Robinson. “Our diverse mix of services, variable-cost business model and motivated employees enabled us to continue to find opportunities in the marketplace and adapt to the challenging freight environment.”

Wiehoff said that although C.H. Robinson had solid fourth-quarter results, gross-profit-per-business-day growth in its largest business, North American truckload transportation, deteriorated as the quarter progressed. “On a per-business-day basis, our North American truckload gross profits declined in December and have continued to decline so far in January 2009,” he said.

The environment remains unpredictable, Wiehoff said. “We do not know whether our experience so far in January is a good indication of what the full first quarter or the year will bring,” he said. “A sustained, slow freight environment is the most challenging for growth. While we are currently in a tough environment, we remain confident in our business model, our strategy and our long-term market opportunity and growth goals.”