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Mullen begins rolling back layoffs; CEO sees recovery and resilient Q2

A tractor-trailer of Mullen Group's Gardewine. (Photo: Gardewine)

With year-over-year revenue down more than 20% from COVID-19 but profits holding fairly steady, Murray Mullen, CEO of Mullen Group, said the Canadian trucking and logistics company has begun rehiring some laid-off workers and sees recovery coming.

Mullen said a combination of its own operational efficiencies and performance, as well as federal wage subsidies, will allow the company to finish the second quarter with a level of profitability similar to that of a year earlier.

“It certainly appears we have weathered the worst of this crisis and we are very well-positioned to capitalize on future opportunities,” Mullen said in a statement accompanying a midquarter update.  

Mullen said the company has rehired about 20% of the 1,000 employees it temporarily laid off. The firm announced its first layoffs in March.

The CEO pointed to the reopening of Canada’s economy as a cause for optimism.

“Consumers are once again active, plants and factories are reopening which points to a recovery in the demand for logistics and trucking services.” 

Mullen predicted second-quarter revenues will come in at C$240 million-$260 million, a more than 20% drop compared to the same period of 2019. The CEO said “there is a good chance” of operating income coming in somewhat better at C$40 million, a drop of 15%.

He noted that with an expected C$10 million from federal wage subsidies, Mullen Group’s net profits may come in similar to the C$51.4 million in net income from the second quarter of 2019.

Murray Mullen will discuss the company’s midquarter performance in a call with analysts on Friday.

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]