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Acquisitions fuel growth for TransForce amidst challenging transport environment

MONTREAL, Que. -- TransForce Income Fund recently announced improved performance for both the first half and second...

MONTREAL, Que. — TransForce Income Fund recently announced improved performance for both the first half and second quarter ended June 30, 2003.

Results for both periods include the full effects of the acquisitions of Canpar and the Besner group of companies, completed last year. This quarter covers a 13-week period compared to 12 weeks in the previous fiscal year. The year-to-date period covers 26 weeks compared to 28 weeks last fiscal year.

Revenues rose to $192.2 million compared to $125.2 million in the corresponding period last year. EBITDA from continuing operations climbed to $22.5 million, up from $18.7 million in the corresponding period a year ago.

Cash flow from operating activities doubled to $18.6 million, compared to $9.2million a year ago. Net income also increased to $11.0 million ($0.17 per unit fully diluted), compared to $7.8 million ($0.15 per unit fully diluted) in the corresponding period last year.

“Our growth is being driven by the Company’s acquisition strategy, which has added quality operations to our growing network,” said Alain Bdard, President and CEO of TransForce Income Fund. “TransForce has continued to make steady progress notwithstanding a series of challenging factors which have added to the cost of operations. Not the least of these issues is the strength of the Canadian dollar, which has impacted our transborder business. Further, unusually harsh climatic conditions throughout the winter months, coupled with a sudden spike in fuel prices, had a definitive effect on our bottom line in the first half of this year.”

Earlier this month, the North American Transportation Council’s General Rate Committee (GRC), recommended a general rate increase effective August 4, 2003. The Council’s press release stated that. The rate increase is in response to the increased cost of handling U.S. – Canada freight. Cross border carriers are facing significant cost increases in labor, equipment, insurance and security on both sides of the border.

“This industry rate increase is welcome news and will certainly help defray some of the added costs we have experienced,” Bdard stated.

“We remain focused on providing premium service to our customers, while maintaining strict controls on all costs. TransForce has been prudent in making strategic acquisitions and maintaining existing management to ensure efficiencies in each of our divisions. These efforts have doubled our cash flows, allowing the Company to maximize cash distributions to our unitholders. We remain cautiously optimistic for the balance of this year,” said Bdard.

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