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Universal Truckload Services 4Q Profit up Nearly 12%

Universal Truckload Services, Warren, Mich., saw its fourth-quarter 2011 revenues rise 11.8% to $174.6 million from $156.1 million in 2010. The company’s operating ratio improved 20 basis points to 96.5% for the quarter from 96.7% for the same quarter in 2010.

Universal said it made substantial progress in 2011, and it expects the economy to grow modestly this year “given the legislative and European economic headwinds.”

UTI is an asset-light company made up of divisions operating primarily with owner-operators such as Universal Am-Can, Pacer and Mason Dixon.

Income from operations increased by 16.5% to $6 million from $5.2 million in 4Q 2010. Net income increased by $0.4 million to $3.5 million, or 23 cents per basic and diluted share, from $3.2 million, or 20 cents per basic and diluted share.

The company said it made $104.2 million from its truckload operations, up 13 percent from a year ago. Brokerage revenue was up 11 percent to $46.3 million, and intermodal revenue rose 7 percent to $24.2 million. Revenue from fuel surcharges rose 59 percent to $22.4 million.

For the full year, operating revenues increased 15.5% to $699.8 million from $605.9 million in 2010. Operating ratio improved 100 basis points to 96.5% for the year from 97.5% for 2010.

Income from operations increased by 58.7% to $24.4 million from $15.4 million for the previous year, and net income increased by $3.1 million, to $15.8 million, or $1.01 per basic and diluted share from $12.7 million, or $0.80 per basic and diluted share in 2010.

“I am pleased with Universal’s 2011 fourth quarter and full year operating results,” says Universal’s president and CEO, Don Cochran. “Overall our continued revenue growth was driven by increases in our operating revenues per load and the number of loads we hauled, as well as increases in the fuel surcharges we pass along to our owner-operators.”

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