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Trimac Q1 profits dip slight to $3M on 'weather-related inefficiencies'

CALGARY - Trucking company Trimac Transportation Ltd. (TSX:TMA) has reported a slight dip in year-over-year first quarter earnings, citing "weather-related inefficiencies" amid a particularly harsh winter among other things.

Calgary-based Trimac said net earnings in the three months ended March 31 were $3 million or 11 cents per share, down from $3.1 million, also 11 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue before fuel surcharges was $95.9 million, up from $93.1 million.

"Although the cold weather we experienced during the quarter was one of the most challenging environments in the past several years, we were able to improve revenue, including fuel surcharges by $4.7 million on a year-over-year basis to $110.6 million," president and chief operating officer Edward Malysa said in the company's earnings report.

Malysa added that operating earnings were impacted slightly due to weather-related inefficiencies, startup costs from new business and restructuring costs aimed at streamlining the business.

In its outlook, Trimac said the gradual strengthening of the U.S. economy along with the recent decline of the Canadian dollar has moderately increased activity levels in some of the industries it serves, adding that resource commodities exports and pipeline capacity issues would continue to create uncertain conditions in the oil and gas industry.

"Therefore, we expect some moderate growth for the remainder of 2014 albeit available capacity of drivers and mechanics continue to be the largest constraint we face today," the company said.

Trimac, Canada's largest provider of bulk trucking services with operations from coast to coast, also offers repair, maintenance, trailer fabrication and tank-trailer cleaning services. As well, it provides third-party transportation logistics services in Canada and the United States.

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