Contrans rises above economic pitfalls

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — Despite a range of economic factors working against the trucking industry, Contrans Income Fund continued to increase its revenue in 2007.

The company finished the fourth quarter of 2007 with an increase of $3 million in revenue from the same period the year before. Overall, the increase gave Contrans an increase of $30 million in revenue for 2007 from the company’s 2006 year-end results.

“The past year was marked by an increasingly challenging environment in our industry,” stated Stan Dunford, CEO and Chair of the Board of Contrans. “These challenges included the strengthening Canadian dollar, rising fuel costs and a slowing economy. In addressing these changing business conditions, we focused on and succeeded in maintaining the profitability of our operations.”

One of Canada’s largest carriers, with nearly 18 operations running under the income fund, Contrans recorded revenue of $485 million for 2007.

Acquisitions generated additional revenues from transportation services of $53.7 million and additional earnings before tax and discontinued operations of $6.2 million compared to 2006.

With about a quarter of Contrans’ customers billed in U.S. dollars, the fund was adversely affected by a reduction in volumes of export shipments to the U.S. caused by the weakening of both the American economy and the U.S. dollar.

Management worked to mitigate the losses and the board is confident it will be able to continue increasing revenue as the company moves forward.

“Given our track record, our time-tested approach and our dedicated workforce, we face the future with confidence,” added Dunford. “We believe that the current challenging conditions will create opportunities for us to continue to strengthen our operations and to significantly increase unitholder value.”

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