OTR Express, Olathe, KS, attributes its net loss for the fourth quarter of 1999 and the first quarter of 2000 to a rapid increase in fuel costs in recent months.
For the fourth quarter, the company expects to report an eight percent increase in revenues to $20.7 million, up from $19.2 million in 1998. For the year, OTRX expects revenues of $80.5 million, up 11.3 percent from $72.3 million in 1998.
However, the company does expect to report a net loss for the quarter after completion of its annual audit. “In November 1999, the price per barrel of oil reached a nine-year high, and we announced that these higher costs were affecting fourth quarter 1999 results,” said William P. Ward, chairman, president and ceo. “The company has implemented customer fuel surcharge reimbursement programs to recover a portion of the higher cost. However, a significant portion is still not being recovered.” Fourth quarter results were also reportedly affected by a driver pay increase implemented in September and the costs of a severance package for the company’s former ceo, who left OTR in October 1999.