Celadon profit rolls ahead on cost-cutting

Indianapolis-based Celadon Group Inc. defied a difficult trucking market to report late yesterday that it boosted profit 12 percent in its first fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30.

Profit rose to $2.8 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with $2.5 million, or 11 cents a share, for the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 11 cents in the most recent quarter.

Revenue rose 9.8 percent to $146.9 million, short of the $151.5 million anticipated by analysts.

“In the current economic environment, significant rate and volume increases are tough to come by,” said Chairman and CEO Steve Russell.

Russell said the parent of Celadon Trucking benefited from better freight selection and tighter cost controls.

Celadon also reduced its balance sheet debt and capital lease obligations by more than $21 million in the quarter, he said.

Celadon shares rose 35 cents, to $10.50, this morning.

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