Stef turnover up 5% to €2.7bn

Paris, France: Stef reports consolidated turnover for the 4th quarter of 2014 up 1.5 %  to €2,765.4m

In France, business remained steady until the last week of the year, in a difficult economic environment, the company said.

Turnover from French transport activity fell 2.8% to €321.2m but logistics business was up 2.2% to €129.5m

“The heavy drop in fuel prices, passed on to clients’ explains the decrease in sales at transport France. Seafood and frozen food transport operations ended the year on a strong growth, fresh food operations were less dynamic,” Stef said in a statement. 

“The momentum of operations at Logistics France remains good, thanks to out-of-home catering which is up 2.5%, and to a new logistics contract for a large retailer in south-western France.”

The negative impact of the divesture of British operations (-€2,4m) was more than compensated by the acquisition of the Dutch company Speksnijder Transport (+€3,9m).

Ebrex France, a company specialising in temperature-controlled transport and logistics, was integrated on 1 October 2013.

European activities grrew on par with previous quarters, with a 6.4% increase on a like-for-like basis.

In Spain, sales are up 5.5%, carried by the business upturn in domestic groupage operations at the end of the year,

In Italy, a stronger network and the relevance of the logistics and transport offer help maintain a steady 8.6% growth rate.

Marten Transport reports highest revenue for any quarter

Mondovi, Wisconsin, US: Marten Transport reported its highest net income and operating revenue for any quarter in its history.

For the fourth quarter of 2014, net income improved 22.8% to a record $9.0 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, from $7.3 million, or 22 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2013.

MARTEN+TRANSPORT+Ltd.+MONDOVI+WISCONSIN+FREIGHTLINER+Sleeper+Cab+Truck+9919,+Great+Dane+53'+Refrigerated+Trailer,+Marten+Trucking+Co.+WI.For the year ended December 31, 2014, net income decreased to $29.8 million, or 89 cents per diluted share, from $30.1 million, or 90 cents per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2013.

Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload, dedicated, intermodal and brokerage operations, increased 4.4% to a record $173.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2014 from $166.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, and increased to $672.9 million for 2014 from $659.2 million for 2013.

Operating revenue, net of fuel surcharges and MW Logistics, LLC (MWL) revenue, increased 7.5% to $144.6 million for the 2014 quarter from $134.5 million for the 2013 quarter, and increased 4.4% to $547.7 million for 2014 from $524.8 million for 2013.

Fuel surcharge revenue decreased to $29.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2014 from $31.7 million for the 2013 quarter, and to $125.2 million for 2014 from $127.7 million for 2013. With the March 2013 deconsolidation of MWL, no MWL revenue was included in 2014 or in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with $6.7 million in 2013.

Operating expenses as a percentage of operating revenue, with both amounts net of fuel surcharge revenue, improved to 88.7% for the fourth quarter of 2014 from 90.6% for the fourth quarter of 2013. The ratio was 90.7% for 2014 and 90.2% for 2013.

Chief executive Randolph L Marten said, “We are pleased to announce our most profitable quarter ever, as well as an operating ratio net of fuel surcharges that at 88.7% was our best quarterly performance in the last 10 years. In the face of a difficult driver recruiting and retention environment, we successfully grew the number of tractors for our Truckload and Dedicated segments by 78 tractors in this year’s fourth quarter and by 161 tractors in 2014.

“We continue to drive gains in our key operating measures as our revenue per tractor increased 3.3% over last year’s fourth quarter, our nineteenth consecutive quarterly increase.”

“We also improved the profitability of our intermodal operations from an operating loss in this year’s third quarter to a 95.9% operating ratio in the fourth quarter, through a combination of rate increases, lane selectivity and slight improvements in rail service.

“We made these strides even though more favorable fuel costs have been somewhat offset by higher insurance and claims expense and driver wages. Based on the foundation that has been laid by the smart, hard work and dedication of our people, we strongly believe we are well positioned to take advantage of the market’s continuing tight capacity in 2015.”

“Going forward to best illustrate our increasingly successful and operationally distinct business units, we have elected to move from two to four financial reporting segments. Therefore, starting with this quarter, we are reporting our results in Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal and Brokerage segments instead of Truckload and Logistics segments.

“From our Truckload segment we have carved out our dedicated operations into a separate Dedicated segment – a growing provider of customized freight movement solutions tailored to meet individual customers’ requirements, utilizing refrigerated trailers, dry vans and other specialized equipment. Our Logistics segment has now also been split into Brokerage and Intermodal.

“We believe reporting our results in this manner will provide our stakeholders better visibility and understanding into our business and reflect our operational structure.”

Tesco names 43 UK store closures

Welwyn Garden City, UK: Tesco has named the 43 stores it is closing in the UK.

The Express and Home Plus stores will close on 15 March with the Tesco Metros and Superstores on the list closing on 4 April.

Tesco warned earlier this month that 43 stores would be shut as part of plans to cut costs.

Superstore closures include those in Doncaster and Chatham, while the DIY and homeware Homeplus closures include stores in Edinburgh and Southampton.

In total, 18 Express, 12 Metro, seven superstores and six Homeplus stores are shutting their doors.

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