Marten Transport says 1Q net income up 52%

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Marten Transport Ltd. on Tuesday, April 21, announced its financial and operating results for the quarter ended March 31. Net income increased 52.8 percent to $4.1 million compared with $2.7 million for the same quarter of 2008.

Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload and logistics operations, decreased 14.9 percent to $122.0 million from $143.4 million; this decrease was due primarily to fuel surcharge revenue decreasing to $10.8 million from $28.0, caused by significantly lower fuel prices. Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges, decreased 3.6 percent to $111.2 million from $115.4 million. The company’s operating ratio — operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue — improved to 94.1 percent from 96.2 percent.

“Despite the overall turmoil in the economy and the exceptionally difficult freight environment, we continued to improve our profitability and our strong financial position in this year’s first quarter,” said Randolph L. Marten, chairman and chief executive officer of the Mondovi, Wis.-based company. “Consistent with the growth in our net income, another fundamental measurement of our profitability, our cash from operating activities, increased to $27.4 million for the first quarter of 2009 from $14.7 million in the 2008 quarter.”

Marten said the company is well-positioned for an economic recovery with its multifaceted business model and positive cash position with minimal debt. “We continued our disciplined focus on superior customer service, profitable freight selection and aggressive cost controls,” he said. “In particular, our regional expansion, our logistics business growth and our fuel-efficiency initiatives have helped us improve our results.”