First quarter 2018 tonnage per day decreased 2.4% at YRC Freight. Photo: Deborah Lockridge

First quarter 2018 tonnage per day decreased 2.4% at YRC Freight. Photo: Deborah Lockridge

Trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc. narrowed its first quarter loss but was still in the red, but it expects an improvement in its finances later in the year.

The net loss of $14.6 million, or 44 cents per share, compares to a net loss of $25.3 million, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier. The results come as most every other publicly held trucking company reporting first quarter earnings so far has shown higher profits compared to a year earlier.

Revenue for first quarter 2018 was $1.22 billion for an operating loss of $4.3 million, while first quarter 2017 revenue was $1.17 billion with operating income of $300,000.

"The pricing and demand environment remains favorable, and in the first quarter 2018, YRC Freight and the regional companies reported strong year-over-year increases in revenue per hundredweight and revenue per shipment,” said Darren Hawkins, CEO. “While year-over-year tonnage per day was down for the quarter at YRC Freight, the year-over-year monthly results improved sequentially during the quarter and turned positive in March."

The continued net loss was due to higher third-party costs for logistics solutions and rail purchased transportation, as well as equipment lease expenses, partially attributable to long-term leases in conjunction with YRC’s strategy to reinvest in its fleet, according to the company.

The company’s consolidated operating ratio for first quarter 2018 was 100.4, compared to 100 in first quarter 2017. The operating ratio at YRC Freight, the company’s national operation, was 100.9, compared to 101 for the same period in 2017. The regional segment's first quarter 2018 operating ratio was 98.9 compared to 97.2 a year ago.

First quarter 2018 tonnage per day decreased 2.4% at YRC Freight and increased 0.2% at the regional segment compared to first quarter 2017.

At YRC Freight, including fuel surcharge, first quarter 2018 revenue per hundredweight increased 6% and revenue per shipment increased 8.3% when compared to the same period in 2017. Excluding fuel surcharge, revenue per hundredweight increased 4.4% and revenue per shipment increased 6.7%.

At the regional segment, including fuel surcharge, first quarter 2018 revenue per hundredweight increased 5.3% and revenue per shipment increased 9.0% when compared to the same period in 2017. Excluding fuel surcharge, revenue per hundredweight increased 3.6% and revenue per shipment increased 7.3%.

At the end of March, the company's outstanding debt was $918.7 million, a decrease of $86.1 million compared to $1.005 billion as of March 31, 2017.

"We are executing our strategy to secure the right price and freight mix in our networks while on-boarding a significant amount of revenue equipment in 2018," said Hawkins. "The first quarter results were in-line with our expectations, and we continue to expect year-over-year financial improvement to be weighted to the second half of the year."

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