Vitran records lower 2Q earnings

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Vitran Corp. today, July 23, reported net income of $0.4 million on revenues of $158.7 million for the second quarter of 2009 ended June 30. In the comparable 2008 three-month period, the company achieved net income of $4.6 million on revenue of $196.0 million.

The company said the fluctuation in fuel surcharge and foreign exchange on Vitran’s Canadian operations accounted for $26.4 million of the revenue decline; consolidated revenue declined 5.6 percent adjusting for the change in fuel surcharge and foreign exchange rates on Canadian dollar-denominated revenue.

“We are pleased with our second sequential quarter of financial improvements given the general economy and the current transportation pricing environment in North America, which remain extremely challenging,” said Rick Gaetz, president and chief executive officer of Toronto-based Vitran. “On a consolidated basis, the company returned to profitability, led by a positive contribution from our LTL (less-than-truckload) segment and very rewarding results from our supply chain business. We continue to make the company stronger by executing our single-entity operating plan in the United States. Our primary challenge is to ensure that our sequential quarterly shipment and tonnage improvements more than offset the weakness in the pricing environment.”

Gaetz said Vitran’s logistics business performed well in the quarter and, in fact, equaled its all-time best profitability despite continued downward pressures on the North American retail economy. “I look forward to continued commercial success in our supply chain business,” he said.

The LTL segment posted income from operations of $1.2 million with an operating ratio of 99.1 percent, compared to income from operations of $8.5 million and an OR of 94.9 percent. Vitran Logistics posted income from operations of $1.4 million and an OR of 92.3 percent, compared to income from operations of $0.8 million and OR of 95.7 percent. The Truckload segment achieved income from operations of $256,000 compared to $321,000 in 2008, and the TL OR was 97.0 percent compared to 96.2 percent.