Slow economy throws Celadon profit into skid

January 23, 2008
Earnings of Celadon Group plunged 72 percent in the quarter ended Dec. 31, the Indianapolis-based trucking company reported yesterday, reflecting a continued downturn in the industry.

Net income of $1.7 million was down from $6.1 million for the same quarter the previous year. Earnings per share fell to 8 cents, from 26 cents a year ago.

Revenue rose 13 percent, to $139 million.

Celadon, parent of Celadon Trucking, has been forced to take on less-profitable freight as a slowdown in the economy reduced demand among its key customers.

The quarter also was marked by "somewhat atypical costs," including fluctuations in the exchange rate for the Canadian dollar, that reduced earnings by 8 cents a share, said Celadon Chairman and CEO Steve Russell.

"Despite a very difficult freight environment that is affecting our entire industry, we remain committed to our long-term strategy, which is based on growth through success in attracting and retaining safe, experienced drivers, both internally and through acquiring the assets of under-performing companies."

Celadon shares this morning are down 3.4 percent, to $8.49.

Celadon is among the largest truckload carriers between the United States, Canada and Mexico. It also owns Truckers B2B Inc., which provides purchasing discounts to truckers and fleets.
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