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Q2 a mixed bag for public fleets

TORONTO, Ont. - Contrans Income Fund credits its diversity for its ability to post strong Q2 financial results in the face of a challenging operating environment. The company posted net earnings of $1...


TORONTO, Ont. – Contrans Income Fund credits its diversity for its ability to post strong Q2 financial results in the face of a challenging operating environment. The company posted net earnings of $10.2 million for the three-month period ending June 30, compared to $1.5 million in the same period of 07.The six-month period resulted in a profit of $15.2 million compared to $9.6 million in the first half of last year.

“Contrans’ solid second quarter results are largely attributable to management’s ability to react quickly and effectively to changing market conditions,” said Stan Dunford, chairman and CEO of Contrans Income Fund. “In recent years we have acquired companies that have customer bases that are less susceptible to economic downturns. This has added to an already diverse customer base, something that has always made Contrans unique in the freight transportation industry.”

The company’s van segment was not immune to the economic slowdown, however. Van operations saw a $6.3 million revenue decline in Q2 and for the six-month period, van revenue dropped $11.5 million compared to 07.

Trimac down

Trimac Income Fund suffered a drop in net earnings and revenue during the second quarter and first half of 2007. Revenue for the second quarter was down $1.2 million compared to the same period a year earlier, but net earnings for the quarter dropped from $7.9 million to $2.6 million. In the first half of 08, Trimac’s profit fell from $9.4 million to $3.2 million.

Trimac reported its total loads hauled declined due to reduced demand, however, volumes remained relatively strong in Western Canada.

“The bulk trucking operations experienced some reduction in customer demand translating into reduced loads hauled and lower profitability,” explained Jeffrey McCaig, chairman, president and CEO of Trimac. “Fuel surcharges in the current period increased by $5.1 million or 55% over the prior period. This increase in revenue is primarily a cost recovery. When prior period one-time events are considered, consolidated net earnings are very similar to 2007 for the current period.”

McCaig said the company foresees “the continuation of the current operating environment” as it looks ahead.

Clarke remains profitable

Clarke Inc. saw its profits drop in the second quarter and first half of 2008, but its principal freight subsidiaries remained profitable, the company reported.

Overall, Clarke reported a Q2 net income of $12.4 million, down from $28.1 million over the same period last year. However, Clarke Transport and Clarke Road Transport “performed well despite a challenging operating environment characterized by rising fuel costs,” the company claimed.


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