Frozen Food Express posts $2.6M 4Q net loss

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Frozen Food Express Industries Inc. on Wednesday, Feb. 24, announced its financial and operating results for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2009. For the fourth quarter, revenue excluding fuel surcharges decreased 15.7 percent to $78.6 million from $93.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Total revenue declined 18.6 percent to $91.4 million from $112.3 million. Net loss increased by $2.4 million to $2.6 million from a loss of $0.2 million.

For the year, revenues declined $117.5 million or 24 percent from 2008. Net of fuel surcharges, revenue decreased $53.2 million or 14 percent from $381.4 million to $328.2 million. Net loss was $16.4 million compared to a net income of $605,000 as the company said it battled a difficult operating environment due to the severe economic downturn in the United States.

“We are disappointed in the operating results for the year, but given the economic conditions of 2009, which impacted virtually every industry, we are proud that our employees maintained their focus in providing exemplary service to our customers,” said Stoney M. “Mit” Stubbs, chairman and chief executive officer of Dallas-based Frozen Food Express. “Our management team succeeded, under difficult conditions, in adjusting our infrastructure to match the needs of shippers, while staying the course with initiatives that will improve our service product for years to come. We aggressively managed our working capital, which allowed us to generate a positive cash flow for the year and remain debt-free.”

Stubbs said the transportation industry is under extreme pricing pressure. “This pressure, and its impact on operating margins, was a key contributor to our operating losses,” he said. “In 2010, it is essential that we work with our customers to find an acceptable pricing level that will allow us an appropriate return on our service commitment to them.”

Notwithstanding the poor results and continuing economic and industry struggles, Frozen Food Express said it continues to be in a strong cash position with no borrowings outstanding under its revolving credit agreement as of the end of year. For 2009, the company generated cash flows from operations of $12.0 million. At Dec. 31, 2009, the company had $3.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, $89.7 million in shareholders’ equity and no outstanding debt.

“While the current business conditions are the worst we have seen, we are continuing our focus on providing an excellent service product and working with our customers to find a beneficial pricing structure,” Stubbs said. “We continue to be diligent in cost containment and maintaining efficient utilization of our assets. The management team is dedicated to managing our cash position closely and ensuring we have adequate liquidity to maintain our business. I thank our entire team for doing an outstanding job in such challenging times and know we will be well positioned in the future based on our commitment to providing exceptional service and shipping capacity to our customers.”