AIRBORNE POSTS ANOTHER WEAK QUARTER
Airborne Express said net income in the first quarter increased to $32.1 million from $25.2 million last year.
However, minus credit due to a change in accounting for engine maintenance costs, net income fell almost 30 percent to $17.9 million. Revenue grew 5.6 percent to $812.5 million, with domestic sales increasing 6.5 percent and international sales declining 1 percent.
Total shipments handled in the quarter increased 3.5 percent to 83.4 million. But without two extra operating days this year, shipment growth actually topped out at about 0.5 percent on a per day basis.
Rising jet fuel prices added $18.0 million in costs during the quarter. More than $12 million of those costs were offset by additional revenue from a 3-percent fuel surcharge implemented by Airborne in February.
Even taking into account fuel, the first quarter marks another poor performance for Airborne, which has suffered from slower growth in U.S. domestic air freight demand.
“Although domestic shipments in the first quarter grew only 0.5 percent on a per-day basis, it was the first quarter in the last four quarters that some growth was experienced. While very modest, it is hopefully a sustainable trend that can be built upon,” said Roy Liljebeck, Airborne’s chief financial officer.