Logistics firm UTi Worldwide Inc posted a fourth-quarter loss that exceeded analysts’ estimates on falling demand for air freight as clients opted for cheaper, but slower options for shipping.
Net loss in the three months ended Jan. 31 narrowed to $50.7 million, or 48 cents per share, down from a loss of $142.8 million, or $1.38 per share a year earlier. When adjusted for legal and severance costs, bad debts written off and other one-time charges, UTi posted a loss of 15 cents per share, compared with a loss of 13 cents a share a year ago.
After-tax debt write-offs totalled $4.5 million; while legal, severance and other costs amounted to $7.3 million.
Revenue plunged 2.1 percent to $1.08 billion, down from $1.10 billion a year earlier. A Thomson Reuters survey of analysts had on average estimated a loss of 11 cents a share and revenue of $1.09 billion.
Net revenue, which refers to revenue adjusted for purchased transportation costs, fell 0.3 percent to $370.0 million, down from $371.1 million a year ago.
North American air freight shipments plunged 0.4 percent last year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). UTi Chief Executive Officer Eric Kirchner blamed weak pricing for hurting the logistics firm’s results in “a lackluster global economy.”
UTi dispelled concerns over concerns on whether it will be able to continue with its operations after it obtained around $725 million for refinancing its debt. More than $400 million of the company’s debt is expected to mature in April.
The company had earlier disclosed in February that it had violated certain debt covenants.
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