Celadon Group ekes out profit

Despite a grim freight market, trucking conglomerate Celadon Group managed to stay profitable in its fourth fiscal quarter and for its fiscal year – though just barely

Despite a grim freight market, trucking conglomerate Celadon Group managed to stay profitable in its fourth fiscal quarter and for its fiscal year – though just barely.

Net income dropped to a measly $200,000 on revenues of $116.9 million, down from profits of $2.2 million on revenues of $154.6 million in the same quarter in fiscal 2008.

For fiscal 2009, net income decreased 60% to $2.6 million compared to $6.5 million in fiscal 2008, while total revenues dropped 13.4% to $490.3 million from $565.9 million in fiscal 2008. Celadon noted freight revenue, exclusive of fuel surcharges, declined 10.8% to $408.2 million in fiscal 2009 compared to $457.5 million in fiscal 2008.

“The rate environment has continued to be quite difficult, with many fleets struggling and willing to accept non-compensatory pricing,” said Steve Russell, Celadon chairman & CEO, in the carrier’s earnings report. “Our average rate per loaded mile continued to decline, and for the [fourth fiscal] quarter was down 6.5% from the [fourth fiscal] quarter in 2008,” he said. “The financial impact of this decline was partly offset by cost reductions achieved throughout the company, as well as the benefit of lower fuel costs.”

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