Quality Distribution says 1Q net loss was $300,000

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Quality Distribution Inc. on Wednesday, May 6, reported the results for its first quarter ended March 31. Revenue excluding fuel surcharge was down 21.2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008 due to a continued softness in demand. The net loss was $300,000 compared to a net loss of $1.9 million.

The company said the first quarter of 2009 contains a pre-tax restructuring charge of $0.6 million and a pre-tax gain of $0.7 million on early debt extinguishment, while the first quarter of 2008 contains $1.0 million in pre-tax gains from property sales.

“Since last quarter, we increased availability, reduced debt and reduced interest expense,” said Gary Enzor, chief executive officer of the Tampa, Fla.-based company. “We also improved operating income versus the same period last year despite the continued trucking volume challenge.”

Enzor said that in the first quarter, the company generated $13.7 million of net operating cash flow, $16.6 million better than first quarter of 2008, and it continued to strengthen its business platform while retaining its financial flexibility. “We remain cautious due to volume softness, but we are encouraged by the results of our many cost initiatives implemented in 2008 and continuing into this year,” he said.

Steve Attwood, chief financial officer, said the company’s positive operating cash flow enabled it to reduce total debt, net of cash, by $12.5 million this quarter. “At the end of the quarter, total availability was $47.5 million, which includes availability under our revolving credit facility of $43.0 million, plus cash, in excess of operating needs, of $4.5 million,” Attwood said. “Our efforts to dramatically reduce costs continue to strengthen our balance sheet.”