COMPETITION WATCH: Trimac’s strong performance in the west offset by eastern shortcomings

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CALGARY, Alta. — Trimac has posted its second quarter earnings, stating improved results from its Western Canadian bulk trucking business has been offset by reduced profitability from its Eastern operations.

“The overall business environment in Western Canada continued to be positive in the second quarter. We experienced increased revenues in all major product categories with the exception of woodchips," said Terry Owen, president and CEO of Trimac. "While we also enjoyed a significant year over year improvement in our EBITDA from Western Canadian operations, our profitability was adversely impacted by several factors including: very wet weather in the quarter which affected the mix of hauling and delayed the start-up of some seasonal hauling; higher than anticipated maintenance costs as a result of delays in the delivery of new equipment; lower productivity in our shop and washrack operations due to staffing issues; increased use of subcontractors due to capacity constraints for handling volume surges; and higher insurance claims."

The company cited driver shortages, delays in the start-up of a new petroleum business and seasonal hauling on its less than stellar Eastern Canadian operations. However, it’s North American logistics business performed well in the second quarter due to improved results from U.S. transload and Canadian freight brokerage operations and strong performance from its expanding U.S. distribution management business, the company reports.

“We expect to see continued strength and enhanced margins in the Western Canadian business and logistics operations. In Eastern Canada we also expect further improvement in our Ontario and Quebec based operations. We will continue to face challenges in our Atlantic Canada operations and woodchips business as a result of revenue shortfalls," added Owen. "We also expect to realize further benefits for the balance of the year from our dispatch centralization strategy, and the environment for rate increases will continue to be positive due to driver and capacity shortages.”

In the West, Trimac saw second quarter revenues for its bulk trucking operations increase 1.3 per cent to $42.4 million. The company says the business environment remains strong in the west in every market it serves with the exception of woodchips. It was, however, affected by June flooding. Trimac says increased cement volumes, rate activity and productivity enhancements have helped boost the bottom line in the West.

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