The Indiana-based trucking operation Celadon Group Inc. has reported a 21.2% increase in its third quarter profit.
Net income increased to $8 million from $6.6 million for the same quarter last year while earnings per diluted share gained 21.4% to 34 cents from 28 cents.
Revenue for the quarter increased 10.5% to $193.4 million from $175.1 million a year earlier. Freight revenue, which excludes fuel surcharges, increased 11.1% to $157.7 million.
In the most recent quarter Celadon said its average seated tractor count increased by 231, or 7.6%, to 3,255, compared with 3,024 a year earlier. Average revenue per tractor per week increased $64, or 2.2% to $2,977 from $2,913 during the same time while average revenue per loaded miles increased to $1.633 per mile from $1.597 per mile.
"We continue to work on driver recruitment and retention as the market remains challenging for qualified drivers. As a result, our costs related to driver training, advertising for experienced drivers, and other recruitment and retention efforts have continued to increase,” said Paul Will, president and CEO. “This, along with economic and safety regulatory issues, has resulted in more constrained truckload capacity for shippers. Their understanding and willingness to adjust rates upward reflects the collective capacity and service challenges currently facing the industry. In addition to initiating and implementing sustainable rate increases, we are continuing to work on cost reduction initiatives as we strive to improve our operating results."
Celadon said the average age of its tractor fleet was 1.7 years as of September and the average age of the trailer fleet was 3.6 years. It reported gains on sales of assets totaled $4.6 million in the third quarter of the year compared with $1.2 million in the 2013 quarter. The company said it is currently in the process of refreshing its tractor and trailer fleets..
On Wednesday Celadon’s the board of directors approved a regular cash dividend to shareholders for the quarter ending December 31 of two cents per share of common stock.
More information is on the Celadon website.