Horizon Lines' financial report shows volume improves 3.4%, & rate, net of fuel up 2.9% from a year ago.
Sam Woodward, President and Chief Executive Officer comments on third quarter 2012 financial results:
"Horizon Lines generated a 3.4% improvement in container volume and a 2.9% increase in container revenue, net of fuel surcharges, for the third quarter, relative to the same period a year ago," said Sam Woodward, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Volume increases in Hawaii and Alaska offset volume weakness in Puerto Rico. However, third-quarter adjusted EBITDA of $27.0 million declined by $6.0 million from a year ago, largely due to $4.6 million of incremental transit and crew costs associated with dry-docking three Puerto Rico vessels in China. We are doing this to facilitate extensive maintenance and high-quality enhancements in the most cost-efficient manner possible in order to improve vessel reliability and service integrity in Puerto Rico.
"Excluding these incremental dry-dock transit and crew costs, the remaining adjusted EBITDA shortfall of $1.4 million reflects a decline in non-transportation revenue, as well as increased maintenance, terminal operations, vessel operating and overhead costs, primarily due to contractual rate increases, port security fees and higher container volumes," Mr. Woodward said. "These negative variances were partially offset by increased volume, associated improved fuel-cost recovery and modest container rate improvements."
Reviewing each trade lane, Alaska's seasonally strong summer business benefited from increased northbound automobile shipments and southbound seafood volume. Hawaii's positive volume trend continued during the quarter, driven in part by stronger tourism. Puerto Rico revenue container loads contracted on lower volume. Reduced shipments in Puerto Rico were partially offset by stabilizing container rates and increased refrigerated cargo volume relative to a year ago.
For the full fiscal year, container volumes are projected to increase slightly from 2011 levels, due to modestly improving economic conditions and consumer sentiment in certain of the company's markets. Container rates, net of fuel surcharges, are expected to rise slightly, mitigating much of the contractual rate increases the company is incurring this year from its vessel union partners, transportation service providers and for other marine services.