Trucking company YRC Worldwide lightened its financial load in 2012.
The Overland Park, Kan.-based less-than-truckload company reported an operating profit for the full year — the first time it has done so in six years.
For the year and the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, YRC showed overall losses, but they were much smaller than in fiscal 2011. YRC was created after trucking company Yellow Corp. bought Akron-based Roadway Corp. in 2003 for $1.1 billion. The company has flirted with bankruptcy after struggling with high debt and high costs exacerbated by the Great Recession.
YRC on Friday reported revenue of $4.851 billion last year, down 0.4 percent from $4.869 billion in 2011. Consolidated operating income increased by $162.3 million to $24.1 million. That included a $9.7 million gain on asset disposals. For 2011, YRC had a consolidated operating loss of $138.2 million.
YRC said it lost $140.4 million, or $19.20 per share, for fiscal 2012 compared to a loss of $409.3 million, or $196.12 per share, in 2011.
For the fourth quarter of 2012, YRC said it lost $35.3 million, or $4.53 per share, on revenue of $1.168 billion. That compares to a loss of $84.2 million, or $12.40 a share, for the fourth quarter of 2011.
“We are pleased to be reporting positive annual consolidated operating income for the first time in six years,” James Welch, chief executive officer, said in opening statements to industry analysts. “This is an accomplishment that many of our competitors and certainly several analysts along with some in the financial world thought would likely never happen.”
YRC beat management’s financial forecast for the year as well even with a weaker-than-anticipated economy, Welch said. He noted that the entire senior leadership team had been restructured over the last 18 months.
“Exceeding our forecast in 2012 was extremely important to me and our team as you only get one chance to make your first impression,” Welch said.
Shares of YRC on Friday rose 5.9 percent, or 38 cents, to $6.81. Shares are up nearly 1 percent since Jan. 1 and are down 49.2 percent from a year ago.
Welch said the company eliminated “all distractions” that kept it from focusing on premium services in regional and long-haul markets. The company showed a considerable improvement in safety as well, he said.
The improving financials were powered largely by YRC’s regional businesses Holland, Reddaway and New Penn, Welch and others said.
YRC Freight’s finances also strengthened, the company said. YRC Freight had $21.1 million in positive operating income in the fourth quarter, a $47.8 million increase from a year ago. It was YRC Freight’s second consecutive positive operating income quarter.
YRC Freight, the long-haul division of YRC Worldwide, had been handling a lot of business that it should not have been in, Welch said.
“The improvement in profitability is the result of intense focus on productivity improvements at each individual terminal and the continuation of our strategy to improve our customer mix,” Jeff Rogers, president of YRC Freight, said in a statement. “We have made solid gains in customer service, safety and freight handling efficiencies, and now our financial results are starting to tell the story.”
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.