Vitran Corp. Inc. on Tuesday, April 27, reported a net loss of $0.9 million on revenues of $165.9 million for the first financial quarter of 2010 ended March 31. In the comparable 2009 three-month period, the company recorded a net loss of $2.4 million on revenue of $139.6 million. The fluctuation in fuel surcharge and foreign exchange on Vitran’s Canadian operations accounted for $13.1 million of the revenue increase for the first quarter of 2010 compared to the first quarter of 2009.
“Although Vitran posted a loss for the first quarter of 2010, it was a significant improvement compared to the first quarter of 2009 and sequentially compared to the fourth quarter of 2009,” said Rick Gaetz, president and chief executive officer of the Toronto-based company. “Our LTL segment improved shipments and tonnage at a double-digit rate over the prior-year first quarter. The growth rate for each month in 2010 escalated compared to the prior-year month. As a result, in March 2010 we posted our best LTL monthly operating ratio since June 2008.”
Gaetz said the economic environment appears to have shown signs of improvement and that the U.S. less-than-truckload pricing environment may have stabilized. “Our Supply Chain Operation performed well in all geographic regions within North America,” he said. “With the first-quarter improvements in income from operations in all our segments, LTL, Supply Chain Operation and Truckload, we were able to reduce our consolidated leverage ratio, resulting in another 50 basis-point reduction on our syndicated debt margins starting in the second quarter of 2010.”
Gaetz said the LTL segment posted notable improvements in revenue and results from operations. Revenue improved to $137.0 million compared to $115.4 million. The segment recorded a loss from operations of $0.6 million with an operating ratio of 100.5 percent compared to a loss from operations of $2.7 million and an operating ratio of 102.3 percent. These improvements resulted from an increase in shipments and tonnage of 10.9 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively, in the LTL segment, which posted a positive operating ratio of 96.3 percent for the month of March 2010.
The Supply Chain Operation segment recorded an increase in revenue of 23.8 percent to $20.1 million, a 223.8 percent improvement in income from operations to $1.4 million and a 93.2 percent operating ratio. The Truckload segment improved revenue 9.7 percent to $8.8 million and achieved income from operations of $0.5 million with an operating ratio of 94.4 percent.