USFreightways posts loss for the year

Trucking conglomerate USFreightways posted big losses for 2002, largely as the result of a $70-million charge to change its accounting methods and a $14.2-million charge to cover the sale of two freight-forwarding subsidiaries last year. The company said it also had to take a $12.8 million charge to cover the sale of its Asian freight-forwarding unit as well. In total Chicago-based USF said it lost

Trucking conglomerate USFreightways posted big losses for 2002, largely as the result of a $70-million charge to change its accounting methods and a $14.2-million charge to cover the sale of two freight-forwarding subsidiaries last year.

The company said it also had to take a $12.8 million charge to cover the sale of its Asian freight-forwarding unit as well.

In total Chicago-based USF said it lost $67 million on revenues of $2.25 billion in 2002, compared to $38.4 million on revenues of $2.22 billion in 2001. For the fourth quarter, USF lost $500,000 on revenues of $580.7 million, down from profits of $10.7 million on revenues of $537.2 million in the same period of 2001.

In the fourth quarter last year, USF sold its freight-forwarding units USF Worldwide Inc. and USF Worldwide Logistics (UK) Ltd., wiping out fourth-quarter profits of over $13.6 million, the company said.

Still, USF said its trucking operations performed well in 2002, especially in the fourth quarter. Revenue for the company's LTL carriers increased 11.1% in the fourth quarter last year, with profits climbing 16.5%, partially because LTL giant Consolidated Freightways closed down last September.

The company's truckload improved even more, as revenues climbed 19.6% and earnings jumped 64% in the fourth quarter last year.

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