Express delivery company Airborne Inc. said productivity gains and cost controls helped net income grow to $5.3 million in the first quarter, compared to a loss of $17 million in the same period last year.
Seattle-based Airborne's total revenues declined 4.3% to $789 million this quarter, with domestic revenues dropping $18 million and international revenues decreasing $17 million.
Average revenue per domestic shipment decreased 2.2%, said president & CEO Carl Donaway. The company trimmed operating expenses by 8.1% to $773 million, and by 3.1% compared to fourth quarter 2001 expenses of $798 million, excluding federal compensation from the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act.
Still, demand for express services has lagged so far this year, said Donaway. "Demand for express services has not picked up yet in what appears to be a continuing weak economic cycle. We believe these volumes should increase as the economy recovers," he said.
One bright spot for the company is the growth of its ground shipment business. Airborne said shipment volume in for ground delivery showed substantial growth during the quarter, reaching over 115,000 shipments per day in March. Ground delivery services, introduced in April of last year, generated average shipments per day of 92,000 for the quarter, well above the expected 60,000.