TransForce Inc.'s quarterly profit rose by a fifth on lower costs and higher sales in its package and courier business, and the transportation and logistics company said even a moderate recovery in the economy should strengthen its results.
Shares of the Montreal-based company rose 6 per cent to touch a six-year high of $18.06 in early trade Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
"Although we made substantial progress in the second half of 2011, and more is anticipated in 2012, market conditions still remain quite challenging," TransForce chief executive officer Alain Bedard said on a conference call.
TransForce's fourth-quarter profit rose 19.8 per cent to $41.7-million, or 41 cents a share. Excluding items, it earned 34 cents a share.
Analysts, on average, were expecting per-share earnings of 28 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 36 per cent to $735.5-million, with sales in its package and courier segment doubling and energy services growing by 39 per cent.
"Profitability improved largely due to improved operating efficiencies and enhanced asset utilization, although a hesitant economy caused overall volume to decline slightly," Mr. Bedard said.