Expeditors International of Washington increased earnings 11 percent even as revenue fell 10 percent in the fourth quarter.
Without mentioning the word recession, Chairman and CEO Peter J. Rose said cost consciousness created savings without sacrificing service. The forwarder earned $77.7 million on revenue of $1.3 billion in the last three months of 2008, compared with earnings of $70 million on revenue of $1.4 billion a year ago.
"Given the incessant tales of woe emanating from Wall Street these days, we hope the consistency and stability projected by these results will be reassuring to our employees, to our customers and to our shareholders," said Rose.
"We increased productivity through on-going process improvement initiatives; we reduced our exposure where we struggled to make money; we cut back on discretionary overhead expenses, like travel and entertainment; and we were increasingly selective with our service provider allocations. This resulted in expanded net revenue yields and higher operating margins, all while offering market-competitive rates and uncompromising service to our customers," Rose said.