LTL Trucker Vitran Loses $43 Million in 2010

LTL Trucker Vitran Loses $43 Million in 2010

Rising costs and a $39 million tax bill led to a $40.2 million loss for less-than-truckload carrier Vitran in the fourth quarter and a $42.9 million loss for the year.

The Canadian-based cross-border carrier ran into the red despite an increase in shipments and tonnage in the fourth quarter and higher LTL rates.

Shipments increased 4.8 percent year-over-year in the quarter at Vitran's LTL division, while LTL revenue rose 6.2 percent to $145.1 million.

Vitran's revenue per hundredweight or yield rose 4.7 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter to $10.23 per hundredweight, and was up 2.2 percent for 2010.

"These positives were offset by higher than expected insurance-related expenses and purchased transportation costs," said Rick Gaetz, president and CEO.

The quarterly and annual losses won't affect Vitran's acquisition of Milan Express, a U.S.-based regional LTL carrier in the Midwest and South, Gaetz said.

The acquisition, expected to close Feb. 19, will add about $70 million to Vitran's annual revenue, which climbed 13 percent to $672.6 million this year.

For the fourth quarter, Vitran's revenue jumped 10 percent to $171.6 million.

Excluding taxes, the trucking operator lost $2.4 million on continuing operations in the quarter and $480,000 for the year, both improvements over the prior periods.

The $39 million was a non-cash tax valuation allowance in continuing operations included in Vitran's deferred tax expense for the year, the company said.

-- Contact William B. Cassidy at wcassidy@joc.com.