Technology slams brakes on Celadon earnings

July 25, 2007

Celadon Group Inc. profit fell 20 percent, to $5.1 million, in the fourth quarter, the Indianapolis long-haul trucking firm reported today.

Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 rose 4 percent to $131.7 million. For the fiscal year, profit increased 9 percent, to $22.3 million.

Even though the trucking business often reflects changes in the overall economy, Chairman Steve Russell attributed the slowdown to retailers' keeping leaner inventories.

New technology allows squeezing inventories to a 10-day supply-half the 20 days common just two years ago. "It's very healthy for America, but it's a one-time hit for the trucking business," he said.

The economy is doing well, Russell said. Referring to trips in the past few months to 28 states, Canada and Mexico meeting customers and making sales calls, Russell said he rarely encountered negative sentiment.

"Nobody's pessimistic about the economy," he said.

Separately, Celadon announced that President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Glaser will retire, and will be replaced by board member Chris Hines.

Hines' board seat will be filled by Cathy Langham, president of Indianapolis-based Langham Logistics Inc.

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