February 29, 2012 / 12:52 PM / in 6 years

UPDATE 2-TransForce profit up on courier growth, lower costs

* Revenue up 36 pct

* Package and courier segment rev C$301.4 mln

* Shares touch 6-year high

Feb 29 (Reuters) - 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 percent to touch a six-year high of C$18.06 in early trade on 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 Alain Bedard said on a conference call with analysts.

TransForce’s fourth-quarter net income rose 19.8 percent to C$41.7 million, or 41 Canadian cents a share . Excluding items, it earned 34 Canadian cents per share.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 28 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 36 percent to C$735.5 million, with sales in its package and courier segment doubling and energy services growing by 39 percent.

“Profitability improved largely due to improved operating efficiencies and enhanced asset utilization, although a hesitant economy caused overall volume to decline slightly,” Bedard said.

TransForce’s shares were trading up 3.6 percent at C$17.71 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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