Mullen Transportation reports drop in revenues, profits

ALDERSYDE, Alta. (Feb 24) ­ Its customers hit by slumping oil and gas prices, Mullen Transportation Inc. posted decreased revenue and profit in 1998 following an especially difficult fourth quarter.

MTI’s net earnings for the year ended Dec. 31 were $1.32 a share or $17.6 million versus $1.43 a share or $18.8 million in 1997.

The Aldersyde, Alta.-based transportation and oilfield services firm said the declines reflect the oil and gas industry¹s difficulties coping with lower crude prices and reduced cash flows.

The fourth quarter was particularly unkind. Revenues were $47.6 million, down 20.8% from 1997. Net income was $3.5 million or $0.26 per share, compared to $5.1 million or $0.39 per share during the previous year.

Revenue over the year was $217 million, down 5% from $228.5 million in 1997.

President and CEO Murray Mullen said he was not discouraged. “We generated a healthy profit in one of the most difficult operating environments seen in years, proving once again that diversification is the correct strategy for our organization,” he said.

Total 1998 truckload revenue of $68.2 million reflected a 1.3% gain over the previous year, although fourth-quarter revenue of $16 million was off 7.5% compared with the same period in 1997. Mullen was optimistic that MTI¹s acquisition of Cambridge, Ont.-based general freight hauler Mill Creek Inc. would help the company take advantage of the continued strong economy in Eastern Canada.

He added that MTI¹s balance sheet is absent of long-term debt.

MTI shares closed up 1/4 at 15 3/4 on the Toronto Stock Exchange yesterday.

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