Net profit for barge operator Kirby Corporation fell 16 percent to $33.7 million in the second quarter as revenue dropped 22 percent to $272.7 million, compared with the second quarter of last year.
Low demand for transportation of petrochemicals and agricultural chemicals and deferred maintenance in the diesel engine services business led to the steep decline in revenue, the company said. Cost cutting and layoffs in the first quarter helped avoid as deep a slide in profits.
"The decline in our marine transportation and diesel engine services demand reflects a difficult economic environment," said Joe Pyne, president and CEO.
Pyne said demand appeared to be improving some in upriver movements of petrochemicals. However, he said, "It is just too early to tell if this improvement in upriver volumes will continue. It appears to us that our customers are fine tuning their volumes to what they see as sustainable demand."
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