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COMPETITION WATCH: Celadon weathers second quarter storm

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Celadon Group concluded its second quarter Dec. 31 with a 2.2% increase in revenue compared t...


Celadon reported second quarter growth, despite difficult operating environment.
Celadon reported second quarter growth, despite difficult operating environment.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Celadon Group concluded its second quarter Dec. 31 with a 2.2% increase in revenue compared to the previous year.

Revenue for the second quarter was US$122.9 million, up from $120.3 million the year before. Freight revenue (excluding fuel surcharges) increased 4.5% compared to the second quarter of 2005. Net income was also up increasing 27.1% to $6.1 million compared to a year ago.

For the six months ending Dec. 31, revenue was up 5.2% over the same period last year. Freight revenue rose 4.3% and net income was up 38.9%.

We are pleased with the results of the December quarter, during what turned out to be a more challenging freight environment than the industry has seen in the past several years, said Chairman and CEO, Steve Russell. Our average revenue per loaded mile, excluding fuel surcharge, increased by 4%, to $1.55 from $1.49, while average revenue per total mile, excluding fuel surcharge, improved 2.2%, to $1.40 from $1.37. Reduced miles per week per truck and increased deadhead, were both a result of the decline in freight levels during the latter part of the quarter. As a result of excellent drivers, disciplined management and strong cost control, our operating ratio (defined as operating expenses, net of fuel surcharge, as a percentage of freight revenue) improved 260 basis points to 89.8% from 92.4%.

Russell anticipated further challenges ahead.

We believe capacity in our industry continues to be constrained by a shortage of qualified drivers. We address the driver shortage by recruiting safe and experienced drivers, providing newer equipment, and offering competitive compensation and lifestyle programs. We believe our continued commitment to the quality of life of our drivers helps keep our trucks seated, reduces our costs, improves customer service and contributes to improved safety for the driving public, he said. We believe carefully managing the average age of our fleet allows us greater flexibility in addressing the cost and reliability issues involving tractor engines designed to comply with stricter emissions requirements in 2007 and generally lowers our operating expenses.


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