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COMPETITION WATCH: Acquisitions drive revenue growth for TransForce

MONTREAL, Que. -- TransForce reported a profit of $14.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 and $79.7 milli...

MONTREAL, Que. — TransForce reported a profit of $14.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 and $79.7 million for the year, up significantly from the previous year.


The company posted a $30.9 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2007 and net income of $44.8 million for all of 07. Revenue was up 10% to $544.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, the company reported, attributing the increase to acquisitions including Groupe Thibodeau.


“We were able to deliver strong results in the fourth quarter, while also taking a number of steps to address imminent challenges posed by the deteriorating economic conditions,” said Alain Bedard, president and CEO of TransForce. “While we increased revenues, our focus was on decreasing operating expenses across the company. Initiatives taken to curtail costs included implementing hiring and salary freezes, and placing strict controls on capital and discretionary expenditures. We also continued to adjust staffing levels to align with lower demand.”


TransForce reorganized its business segments in the fourth quarter, combining the truckload segment with its specialized truckload group.


“TransForce increased revenues in three of its four operating segments, with fourth quarter revenues in the truckload segment off by 6%. In the context of a weakening economy, this is a considerable achievement,” said Bedard. “However, the deteriorating trend is clear so during the fourth quarter we introduced a series of cost containment initiatives to ensure TransForce remains strong. We know what TransForce will be up against in 2009, and have moved proactively to position the company to meet these challenges.”


For 2008 as a whole, revenue increased to a record $2.3 billion from $1.9 billion in 2007. About $161 million in new revenue was attributable to acquisitions.


“TransForce increased revenues across all operating segments in 2008. The company is diversified across various industries and geographies, so while some areas of the economy experienced difficulties, TransForce was able to benefit from its investment in other regions and businesses,” added Bedard.


“Like many companies, our outlook for 2009 is uncertain as a result of the broader economic picture. The operating environment is worsening and TransForce will continue to focus its disciplined efforts on controlling costs. We see a difficult period ahead although it may be mitigated somewhat by a lower Canadian dollar, lower fuel costs, reduced capital costs and economic stimulus packages on both sides of the border.”



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