Truckload carrier Knight Transportation increased its profit 26 percent in the second quarter, as its total revenue rose 14.4 percent to $185.4 million.
Phoenix-based Knight reported a net income of $15.8 million, compared with $12.6 million a year ago and $12.3 million in the first quarter of 2010.
Absent fuel surcharges, its revenue rose 7.6 percent to $155.3 million. Total revenue year-to-date is up 13 percent over the first half of 2009, the company said.
Fuel surcharge revenue more than doubled from a year ago to $30.1 million.
An industry-wide tightening of truckload capacity over the quarter aided Knight, increasing demand for its dry van, refrigerated and flatbed equipment.
The company improved its revenue per mile, miles per truck, and average length of haul while decreasing non-paid empty miles, said Chairman and CEO Kevin P. Knight.
Knight's average revenue per tractor was up 8 percent from a year ago, on a 3.7 percent increase in average miles per tractor, and 11.3 percent from the first quarter.
"The key components of our yield have been improving since the fourth quarter of last year and, as of the second quarter 2010, are now in positive territory," Knight said.
The carrier plans to increase its "less-capital intensive" business, boosting its use of independent contractors. Its owner-operator fleet increased 25.8 percent from a year ago.
The company ended the quarter with $105.1 million in cash and no debt, and Knight said it would continue to evaluate strategic growth and acquisition opportunities.
"We have gained significant flexibility with our cash position," he said. "We expect to grow our revenues in each of our businesses as conditions improve."
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