A bumpy 2016 left Overland Park-based trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc. on a “steady” path forward, CEO James Welch said Monday.
YRC Worldwide said it lost $7.5 million, or 23 cents a share, during October, November and December. A year earlier, it had lost $23.5 million, or 73 cents a share.
The smaller quarterly loss left YRC Worldwide with a $21.5 million profit for the year, equal to 65 cents a share, and up from a $700,000 profit in 2015, equal to 2 cents a share.
Welch characterized the company’s progress as bumpy but there all the same.
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“While we did not make the progress we had planned for in 2016, I would nevertheless categorize our overall results as steady,” Welch said during a conference call with analysts.
One sign of progress was a reduction of YRC Worldwide’s total debts by $70 million during 2016. Debt at the end of December was the lowest since 2005.
Welch said the economy’s slow growth left YRC Worldwide with a decline in its total shipments at both its national carrier, YRC Freight, and its three regional carriers, Holland, New Penn and Reddaway.
Given that industrial shipments make up more than half the company’s revenues, Welch said, “we would have obviously liked to have seen growth in this part of the economy.”
YRC Worldwide is prepared to benefit from an upswing in the economy, Welch said. Managers particularly are looking for opportunities to raise prices as shipping volumes increase.
Revenues in the fourth quarter essentially were flat at $1.148 billion. For all of 2016, revenues totaled $4.7 billion, which was down from $4.83 billion in 2015.
The company’s trucking operations had generated a $14.9 million profit in the fourth quarter, before covering interest expenses, compared with a $15.3 million operating loss in the final months of 2015.