February 24, 2011 / 1:33 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Mullen Q4 profit up on higher demand

* Q4 EPS C$0.40 vs C$0.14, last year

* Q4 rev up 27 pct to C$296.4 mln

* Sees high growth in oil sands related businesses (Adds details)

Feb 24 (Reuters) - Mullen Group , a trucking and logistics company that mostly serves the Canadian oilfield sector, posted a nearly threefold rise in its quarterly profit, helped by increased drilling for oil and gas and stronger demand for its transportation services.

Mullen, which had earlier said it sees its annual dividend doubling this year, expects growth levels to be highest at its businesses related to oil sands activity and oil production.

But it does not see its business directly tied to drilling activity, particularly rig moving, returning to prior activity and profit levels any time soon, the company said in a statement.

For the October-December quarter, Mullen earned C$33.2 million, or 40 Canadian cents a share, up from C$11.1 million, or 14 Canadian cents, a share, a year ago.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 31 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

On an adjusted basis, the trucker earned 30 Canadian cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter rose 27 percent to C$296.4 million. Oilfields services revenue rose about 30 percent to C$189.2 million, while trucking/logistics segment revenue rose 21 percent to C$107.9 million.

Trucking peer TransForce Inc , whose third quarter earnings rolled in above analysts’ expectations fuelled by demand for its package,e courier and specialized services, is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results later on Thursday.

Mullen’s shares, which have gained about 36 percent in value since it reported better-than-expected earnings in October, were trading down more than 1 percent at C$20.43 on Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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