TransForce tightens purse strings to increase bottom line

MONTREAL — Last year was a tough year, no doubt, and it took a prudent attitude and plenty of diversification for TransForce to improve on their financial results from 2007.

Canada’s largest trucking operation managed to improve its top line and bottom line results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Building the company through a large number of acquisitions during the past few years has made TransForce diversified across various industries and geographies, “so while some areas of the economy experienced difficulties, TransForce was able to benefit from its investment in other regions and businesses,” notes Alain Bédard, president and CEO of TransForce.

Hiring and salary freezes also played a key role in the company keeping their operating expenses within a manageable range.

"While we increased revenues, our focus was on decreasing operating expenses across the company. Initiatives taken to curtail costs included implementing hiring and salary freezes, and placing strict controls on capital and discretionary expenditures,” adds Bédard. “We also continued to adjust staffing levels to align with lower demand. Management’s conservative, disciplined approach to operating TransForce will serve us well as we face significant challenges in 2009."

During the fourth quarter, TransForce increased revenues by 10 percent to $544.5 million from $493.5 million in the same period of 2007. This increase was partly due to significant acquisitions concluded in or after the fourth quarter of 2007, including ICS Courier and Groupe Thibodeau.

For 2008 as a whole, TransForce increased revenues to a record $2.3 billion from $1.9 billion in 2007. Significant acquisitions accounted for $160.6 million in additional revenues in 2008.

"Like many companies, our outlook for 2009 is uncertain as a result of the broader economic picture,” says Bédard. “We see a difficult period ahead although it may be mitigated somewhat by a lower Canadian dollar, lower fuel costs, reduced capital costs and economic stimulus packages on both sides of the border."

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