Horizon Lines said its fourth quarter loss on continuing operations narrowed to $6.9 million from $33 million a year earlier as container volume and rates rose marginally.
Fourth-quarter profit from continuing operations totaled $74.2 million based on generally accepted accounting principles, or $14.6 million after adjustments. That compares with a GAAP net loss of $43.6 million, or a loss of $6.8 million after adjustments, a year earlier.
The results exclude Horizon’s discontinued trans-Pacific and logistics services.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization totaled $108.1 million, compared with a $17.1 million EBITDA loss a year earlier. Adjusted EBITDA totaled $18.5 million, compared with $19.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Operating revenue from continuing operations rose 3.1 percent to $264.1 million, primarily because of a $19.5 million increase in fuel surcharges. The latest quarter included one less week than the fourth quarter of 2010.
The company’s latest annual report does not contain an auditor’s note casting doubt about Horizon’s ability to remain a going concern. Such a note was included in last year’s report.
Horizon, the largest U.S. domestic offshore carrier, said Tuesday it had reduced its outstanding debt by one-third and gotten out from under its obligations for five ships chartered for a discontinued trans-Pacific service.
Container volume fell 5.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 to 60,279 loads, but rose 0.2 percent when the extra week in the 2010 quarter was excluded. Alaska volume was flat, while Hawaii and Puerto Rico were up slightly, excluding the extra week. Average container rates, net of fuel charges, were $3,136, up slightly from $3,136 a year earlier.
Horizion projects adjusted EBITDA this year of approximately $75 million, down from $82.1 million in 2011. The forecast is based on expectations that container volumes will rise 1 to 2 percent increase, base rates will increase slightly, and that average fuel costs, excluding low-sulfur fuel required in the Alaska trade, will rise to $730-735 a ton from $631 in 2011.