Strong LTL fuels FedEx’s profits

FedEx Corp. said its first quarter profits rose 40%. The company credited booming business across all of its divisions, but especially LTL freight.

FedEx Corp. said its first quarter profits for fiscal 2007 rose 40% to $475 million on 11% higher revenues of $8.54 billion. The company credited booming business across all of its divisions, but especially LTL freight.

For its first fiscal quarter, FedEx Freight, the company’s LTL unit, posted 11% higher operating income of $150 million on 14% higher revenues of $1.01 billion, compared to its first fiscal quarter in 2006, though its operating margin declined slightly to 14.8% from 15.1% in the same period the previous year.

Overall LTL yield improved 8% year over year reflecting incremental fuel surcharges and higher rates, with average daily LTL shipments increasing 8% year over year due to greater demand for FedEx Freight’s regional and long haul services.

Total combined average daily package volume at FedEx Express and FedEx Ground (the division that’s home to the company’s LTL unit) grew 5% year over year for the quarter, due to continued growth in ground and international express shipments, said Frederick Smith, FedEx’s chairman, president & CEO.

“We remain confident in our ability to achieve solid profitable growth by taking advantage of strong international trade trends, increased demand for fast-cycle logistics and the expansion of online purchasing,” Smith said. “The global economy is growing at a healthy pace with the U.S. economy growing at a moderate, sustainable rate.”

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