Celadon foresees turnaround despite profit slide

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Net profit in Celadon Group Inc.’s fourth fiscal quarter plummeted to $2.2 million from $5.2 million in the same quarter last year as the Indianapolis-based long-haul trucking firm continued to slog through the toughest stretch the industry has experienced in several years.

The profit of 10 cents per share in the most recent quarter beat the 6 cents expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Revenue in the period ended June 30 rose 17.4 percent to $154.6 million.

For the fiscal year, profit fell to $6.6 million from $22.3 million in the previous 12 months, but revenue climbed 12.6 percent to $565.9 million.

The results were released yesterday after markets closed.

CEO Steve Russell said Celadon operations suggest the industry shakeout is well underway and that better times lie ahead.

Celadon tractors are logging more miles than they have since late 2006, and the trucks are traveling fewer miles without cargo.

Improvements in Celadon operations is the result of other fleets going out of business and surviving firms cutting back truck inventories, Russell said.

“We are clearly seeing the results of a meaningful reduction in capacity in the truckload industry,” he said.

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