Mullen turns in record quarter

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ALDERSYDE, Alta. — Mullen Transportation has generated record revenues over the first quarter of 2003, with total revenues up 42.8 per cent over the same period last year.

The strong performance of the oilfields services segment is to credit for the strong performance, the company says. The rebound of oil and gas drilling in Western Canada and several key acquisitions attributed to the successful quarter.

The company’s operating income was up to $24.4 million and basic earnings per share were $0.86 or 59.3 per cent.

“Our record performance in the first quarter can be directly attributed to the increased spending by the oil and gas industry in Western Canada. Drilling activity was quite strong as was capital investment, particularly in those projects related to the development of the oil sands in Alberta," says Murray Mullen, chairman and president of Mullen Transportation. "We were well-positioned to capitalize on the increased activity given that a significant portion of our overall fleet is based in western Canada and leveraged to the energy sector of the economy. Given the current pricing for both natural gas and crude oil we are generally optimistic about the foreseeable future.”

However on the trucking end of the business, Mullen isn’t as optimistic.

"Our Trucking segment continues to be hampered by high costs, most notably fuel and insurance, and an extremely competitive market. And as I have stated on numerous occasions, we will not expand our trucking business until we see an improvement in the fundamentals that drive our investment decision, namely pricing," says Mullen.

Mullen has ceased operations of its U.S. trucking operation, Mill Creek Motor Freight due to the competitive nature of the U.S. trucking industry. Overall, the trucking segment saw a decline in revenue of 4.6 per cent from last year.

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