Horizon Lines, Inc, one of the leading domestic ocean shipping companies in the US, has reported financial results for the fiscal first quarter ended March 25, 2012.
First-quarter operating revenue from continuing operations increased 9.4% to $263.4 million from $240.7 million a year ago. The factors driving the $22.7 million revenue improvement were: an $18.9 million increase in fuel surcharges, growth of $1.7 million in revenue container rates, a $1.3 million rise in other non-transportation services revenue, and a $0.8 million gain in volume.
Container volume for the 2012 first quarter totalled 57,086 revenue loads, up 0.4% from 56,841 loads for the same period a year ago. Unit revenue per container totalled $4,257 in the 2012 first quarter, compared with $3,896 a year ago. First-quarter unit revenue per container, net of fuel surcharges, was $3,225, up 1.0% from $3,192 a year ago. Bunker fuel costs averaged $693 per metric ton in the first quarter, 26.5% above the average price of $548 per ton in the same quarter a year ago.
Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) from continuing operations totalled $5.6 million for the 2012 first quarter, compared with $5.0 million for the same period a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2012 was $10.9 million, an increase of 2.8% from $10.6 million for 2011.
Stephen H. Fraser, interim President and Chief Executive Officer said, "Horizon Lines generated slightly improved revenue container volume and higher EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter relative to a year ago, despite challenges that included severe winter weather in Alaska, higher fuel prices and increased expenses."
The company continues to predict that container volumes in 2012 will increase modestly, in the 1% to 2% range, and that container rates, net of fuel surcharges, will rise slightly from 2011 levels. Fuel prices for 2012 are currently projected in the $725-$730 per-ton range, excluding additional costs for low sulfur fuel that will be required in the Alaska trade lane, effective August 1, 2012.
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