Los Angeles Business Journal

Air Freight Environment Hurts UTi Worldwide Profit

By Deborah Crowe Originally published June 7, 2012 at 10:11 a.m., updated June 7, 2012 at 3:18 p.m.

UTi Worldwide Inc. on Thursday reported lower-than-expected earnings in its fiscal first quarter as air-freight volumes declined.

The Long Beach logistics company reported net income of $12.9 million (12 cents a share) for the quarter ended April 30, compared with $8.7 million (8 cents) in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue fell 4 percent to $1.15 billion, with air freight revenue down 13 percent. Excluding the impact of currency conversions, net revenue was actually up 3.4 percent.

Excluding severance costs and other items, net income was 14 cents a share. Still, analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected adjusted net income of 16 cents a share on revenue of $1.23 billion

"Results … were impacted by the weak industry-wide airfreight environment, which resulted in reduced tonnage in the quarter, particularly in the month of April,” said Chief Executive Eric W. Kirchner in a statement. He added that the impact was partially offset by rising ocean-freight volumes and higher net revenue per unit shipped.

Shares were down 33 cents, or 2 percent, to $14.78 on the Nasdaq.