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COMPETITION WATCH: Trimac reports mixed results in year-end and Q4 financial statements

CALGARY, Alta. -- Trimac has reported its fourth quarter and year-end financial results, which show strong results ...

CALGARY, Alta. — Trimac has reported its fourth quarter and year-end financial results, which show strong results in Western Canada but weakness in woodchip operations and Central Canada where the slow economy has had an impact.

Revenue was up 2.2% in 2007 compared to the previous year, but Trimac’s EBITDA declined 3.5%. It was a busy year for the company, which acquired Ken Angeli Trucking, certain assets of Logistics Express and the petroleum hauling business of Stan Fergusson Fuels.

Trimac says its operations were negatively impacted by slowing activity in the oil and gas sector of Alberta and B.C., as well as adverse weather and continued volatility in woodchip volumes and an economic slowdown in Central Canada. Revenue in Western Canada was up 7.4% in the fourth quarter compared to the same period in 2006, however EBITDA was down 11% over the same time.

In Trimac’s eastern division, revenue was down 11.3% in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to 2006 and EBITDA was down 51.3%.

“As we look back at 2007, the Canadian economy experienced both a slowdown in Eastern Canada and relatively buoyant performance in Western Canada,” said Jeffrey McCaig, chairman, president and CEO of Trimac. “Despite the challenges brought on by the changing economy, our operations weathered the changes reasonably well.”

Profitability in the fourth quarter took a hit due to increased operating costs and pricing pressure, McCaig said. Looking ahead to 2008, McCaig said not a lot is expected to change in terms of operating environment.

“Management sees a continuation of current economic conditions in the western division, although oil and natural gas-related activity is expected to be lower than in 2007,” McCaig said. “Management expects continued volatility in its woodchips volumes due to further restructuring and consolidation in the forestry industry. In the eastern division, management believes the reduced level of manufacturing activity in Central Canada experienced in 2007 may not change materially, resulting in a similar operating environment in 2008.”

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