Vitran announces 1Q net loss of $2.4M

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Vitran Corp. on Wednesday, April 22, reported a net loss of $2.4 million on revenues of $139.6 million for the first quarter of 2009, the three-month period ended March 31. In the comparable 2008 three-month period, the company achieved net income of $1.1 million on revenue of $177.5 million. Vitran said the fluctuation in fuel surcharge and foreign exchange on its Canadian operations accounted for $22 million of the revenue decline.

“The economic environment put enormous pressure on activity levels and margins in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 2008,” said Rick Gaetz, president and chief executive officer of Toronto-based Vitran. “Although Vitran posted a loss for the first quarter of 2009, it was a sequential quarterly improvement compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. Our U.S. LTL operating integration was substantially completed in the fourth quarter of 2008 and started to bear fruit in the current quarter. Costs were taken out of the operation, and inter-regional sales opportunities materialized as we predicted.”

Gaetz said the economic environment remains demanding, but that Vitran continues to modify its LTL operating structure to reduce costs and expand market share. “We are experiencing sequential improvements in daily activity levels every month this year,” he said. “Our Logistics business performed well in the quarter despite continued downward pressures on the North American retail economy.”