Roadway Corp. said today it had a fiscal first-quarter loss of $1.75 million as shipments fell to a 15-year low in January. The loss was 9 cents a share in the quarter ended March 23, compared with net income of $4.99 million, or 26 cents, a year earlier. Sales declined 2% to $637.2 million from $650.5 million, Roadway spokesman John Hyre said.
Roadway's freight tonnage fell 15% in the quarter and 18% in January. Interest costs also rose after Roadway sold $225 million in notes as part of the November purchase of Arnold Industries Inc. for $491 million.
"Continuing sluggishness in the economy combined with our traditionally slow first quarter resulted in business levels substantially lower than we anticipated," said chairman & CEO Michael W. Wickham. "Despite a poor start to the year, we remain confident in our solid financial position and our strategic plans for future growth."
The quarterly results included special costs of $6.8 million, including interest payments of about $5.5 million related to the Arnold Industries acquisition, Hyre said. In the year-earlier period, Roadway had $5.4 million in such expenses, including $3.5 million for a legal judgment, he said.
Roadway Express's profit before interest and taxes fell 97% to $407,000 from $14.1 million. Sales dropped 15% to $553.6 million.
New Penn Motor Express had profit before interest and taxes of $3.31 million and sales of $45.4 million. The unit had profit of $9.1 million and sales of $54.7 million in the year-earlier quarter, when it was part of Arnold Industries.
Arnold Transportation Services had profit before interest and taxes of $162,000 and sales of $38.2 million. When it was part of Arnold Industries in the year-earlier period, its profit was $559,000 on sales of $42.1 million.