Frozen Food Express posts lower 4Q net loss

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Frozen Food Express Industries Inc. on Tuesday, Feb. 15, announced its financial and operating results for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31. Highlights include:
• Fourth-quarter operating loss of $1.9 million, an 62.1 percent improvement versus a fourth-quarter 2009 operating loss of $3.1 million;
• Operating losses for the year improved by $7.2 million versus 2009, a 29.1 percent improvement;
• Fourth-quarter total operating revenue of $94.2 million, a 3.0 percent increase from $91.4 million;
• 2010 total operating revenue for 2010 of $368.8 million compared to $373.1 million;
• 2010 operating expenses of $386.5 million, a 2.9 percent decrease compared to $398.0 million in 2009;
• A fourth-quarter net loss of $1.5 million, a 41.6 improvement versus $2.6 million; and
• A 2010 net loss of $11.9 million, a 27.3 improvement versus $16.4 million; and
• A 2010 operating ratio improvement of 1.9 percent to 104.8 percent compared to 106.7 percent.

“Despite continued economic challenges, our truckload services continued to support stronger rates and deliver improved utility,” said Stoney “Mit” Stubbs, chairman and chief executive officer of the Dallas-based company. “We are pleased that our truckload revenue per total mile has held steady since rate increases taken at the end of the first quarter of this year. LTL services continue to benefit from increased focus on improved service dynamics. We’ve grown LTL tonnage by 5.0 percent this year compared to last, but we’ve seen that this part of the market continues to be very competitive in rates. We believe our improved service offering and nationwide footprint will allow us to command stronger rates in the future.”

Asset productivity, measured by revenue per truck per week, improved 2.9 percent to $3,221 for 2010 compared to $3,129 in 2009. “A key challenge in this market is to increase seated drivers to provide us the benefit of incremental revenue,” said Russell Stubbs, the company’s president. “We ended 2010 with an ‘average weekly trucks in service’ number of 1,782 trucks, which was 155 trucks less than our 2009 average. We will grow our truckload revenue in 2011 by correcting this shortage.”

Frozen Food Express recently opened its FFE Driving Academy to allow the company to train and develop new truck driving professionals. “This, combined with a new, more robust contractor lease program, will give us the additional capacity needed in this market to grow our revenue in 2011,” Russell Stubbs said. “We expect these enhancements will significantly improve our ability to add qualified drivers to our existing fleet and take advantage of opportunities in the truckload marketplace.”