Trailer Bridge reports third profitable quarter
Trailer Bridge, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based U.S. mainland/Puerto Rico shipping line, reported net income of $1.2 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, its third consecutive profitable quarter.
The net profit compares with a net deficit of about $900,000 in the third quarter of 2003. The improved result for the latest quarter brought the company’s net income for the first three quarters to $2.5 million, compared to losses of $4 million a year earlier.
After a bad patch in the past four years, Trailer Bridge is now enjoying higher revenues, rates and very high southbound load factors. Revenue for the third quarter rose 6 percent to $23.9 million. The effective revenue per southbound container was up 6 percent from the year earlier period.
The company’s Jacksonville/San Juan vessel capacity utilization during the third quarter was 94.9 percent to Puerto Rico and 28.6 percent from Puerto Rico, as compared to 93.3 percent and 25.3 percent, respectively, during the third quarter of 2003.
“The effects of an improving supply/demand equation continue to roll out and the underlying trends in our business remain very strong,” said John D. McCown, chairman and chief executive office of Trailer Bridge. “Despite an unusually active hurricane season that caused some schedule disruption in September, Trailer Bridge still increased its total operating revenues for the quarter.”
The company’s operating income for the third quarter amounted to $1.9 million, an improvement of $2.1 million compared to the operating loss of about $200,000 in the prior year period. Operating margin as a percentage of revenue climbed to 8 percent in the latest quarter from minus 1 percent a year earlier.
In a separate announcement, Trailer Bridge said it intends to borrow $80 million in senior secured notes due 2011. The company anticipates using the proceeds of the notes to fund the purchase of the outstanding stock of Kadampanattu Corp., pay off other debts, and acquire containers and chassis that are currently leased.
Kadampanattu Corp. owns and leases to Trailer Bridge two triple-deck roll-on/roll-off barges for payments of $7.3 million per year. As previously announced, Trailer Bridge has entered into an agreement where it can buy 100 percent of the common stock of Kadampanattu Corp. for $32 million.
Trailer Bridge is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.