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COMPETITION WATCH: TransForce closes out tough 09, expects 2010 to be only ‘slightly better’

MONTREAL, Que. -- Canada's largest trucking company TransForce has reported a fourth quarter net loss of ...

MONTREAL, Que. — Canada’s largest trucking company TransForce has reported a fourth quarter net loss of $27.2 million and net income of $10.9 million for 2009 as a whole.

The fourth quarter loss was largely due to a non-recurring write-down. Write-down aside, the company recorded  net income of $17.8 million in the fourth quarter, up from $14.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Fourth quarter revenue was down 10.3% versus the same period in 08, due to the slow economy and a reduction in shipment volumes.

TransForce president and CEO Alain Bedard said most of the company’s businesses are still struggling against economic headwinds.

“While some of our businesses are growing, such as the Matrec waste management operation, and others stayed stable, such as ICS and Canpar in the package and courier segment, for most of the company, volumes remain low in every part of the country,” he said.

“Decreased demand for truckload services tended to be less important than previous quarter, while the profitability decreased in the higher-cost Less-Than-Truckload segment due to the overcapacity in this industry resulting in price pressures, particularly in Western Canada where revenue in the oilfield segment has been hard hit as well. We have no control over volume, but we have responded well in adjusting our costs promptly.”

He added “We have seen some signs of renewed activity but, overall, we expect the operating environment in 2010 to be only slightly better than 2009 with increases in the latter months.”

For the full year, TransForce reported a 18% decline in revenue to $1.8 billion. Net income was $10.9 million, down from $79.7 million in 2008 – again thanks to the major Q4 write-down.

Before the non-recurring charge, TransForce reported a full year net income of $55.9 million.

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