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Frozen Food Express tallies first quarter 2012 results

Frozen Food Express Industries Inc (FFEX) has reported its financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012.

For the 2012 first quarter, total operating revenue decreased 4.5%, or $4.2 million, to $87.9 million compared with $92.1 million in the same period of 2011. Total operating revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, fell 4.5% to $70.1 million from $73.4 million during the same period in 2011. Net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2012 was $5.6 million, an improvement of 28.8% versus a net loss of $7.9 million in the same period of 2011.

“Excluding revenue from dry freight services, our revenue showed a solid 4.3% improvement from the same period last year,” said Russell Stubbs, the company’s president and chief executive officer. “While year-over-year comparisons in our truckload services are made difficult by our decision to exit the dry van services last year, revenue per truckload mile increased 7.8% during the first quarter of 2012, and we expect to realize favorable rate increases for the balance of the year.

“Both pricing and demand for our LTL services continued to improve during the first quarter when compared to the same period last year,” he said. “As a result, our LTL revenue increased 8.0% during the quarter. This marks the strongest first quarter performance in our LTL business in three years, and we anticipate continued improvement throughout the remainder of the year.”

During first quarter 2012, total operating expenses fell $7.7 million, or 7.7% to $93.1 million compared with $100.9 million during the first quarter of 2011. Despite a 9.6% increase in fuel prices during the first quarter of 2012, fuel costs retreated $3.5 million and represented half of the year-over-year cost savings. The reduction in fuel costs was related to fewer trucks in service, as well as increased fuel economy from a younger fleet. Excluding the effects of fuel, the decrease in operating costs was primarily driven by decreases in claims and insurance and a gain on the sale of property and equipment.

“While we still have progress to make, during the first quarter we began to see the positive effects of our strategic plan,” said Stubbs. “We achieved cost savings from our younger and more fuel-efficient fleet. We improved yields and grew volumes in our temperature control services. Additionally, we saw the first meaningful revenue contribution from our recently introduced water transportation services. Overall, the first quarter marked a solid start to 2012 and was consistent with our plan to restore profitability during this year.”

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