BAX finishes strong in a $2 billion freight year; Menlo reports $47 million loss for 2003
Once clearly No. 2 in the U.S. domestic heavyfreight market, BAX Global was a solid No. 1 in 2003.
Irvine, Calif.-based BAX posted a $16.3 million profit for the fourth quarter of 2003, a 46 percent improvement over a year earlier, which had fourth quarter profit of $11.2 million. That gave BAX a $3 million profit for the year, a sharp decline from the $17.6 million the air freight and logistics operator counted in 2002.
But the numbers, including a 6.8 percent improvement in revenue to just short of $2 billion, came as Menlo Worldwide Forwarding posted a $47.6 million operating loss during 2003 and a $2.6 million operating loss in final quarter that was fed partly by restructuring charges.
Officials for BAX, the leading U.S. air heavyweight specialist, said an improving economy helped North American business late in the year but that logistics work in Asia also played a major role. In North America, shipping volume was up from the United States, supply chain management work grew, and third-party air charters increased.
For the full year, BAX's international revenue jumped 15.4 percent to $1.1 billion while business in the Americas slipped slightly to $976 million.
"The start of an economic recovery in the U.S. benefited BAX Global's shipping volume, while its worldwide logistics activity and operations in Asia continued to perform very well," said Michael T. Dan, chairman, president and CEO of BAX's parent, the Brink's Co.
BAX's revenue in the fourth quarter grew 8 percent to $568.9 million. International revenue grew faster at 12 percent, while revenue for the Americas increased 2 percent.
Profit and revenue increased as the amount of worldwide expedited freight BAX handled grew too. During the fourth quarter, BAX handled 455.9 million pounds, a 5 percent increase over a year earlier.
BAX has shifted its focus somewhat, most recently targeting ground shippers through a new tracking initiative and selling its air and truck capacity to forwarders in a separate, targeted effort.
Menlo Worldwide Forwarding, the former Emery Worldwide business, no longer flies its own fleet of planes but only serves as a forwarder and uses contracted lift in the United States. With its parent, CNF, the company reorganized its Emery brand under the Menlo Worldwide Logistics unit.
Revenue grew year-over-year, with Menlo Worldwide reporting fourth-quarter revenue of $777.2 million in 2003 compared with $753.3 in 2002.
For the quarter, Menlo Worldwide Forwarding reported a $14 million loss, down from a profit of $4.6 million a year earlier. Menlo Worldwide Logistics turned an operating profit of $6.1 million for the fourth quarter but that was down from a $8.6 million profit a year earlier.
Revenue for the year was up to $2 billion from $1.87 billion.
"BAX Global continued to build on its successes in Asia and in global logistics and supply chain management, while working through challenging conditions in the heavy freight transportation sector here and in Europe," Dan said. "They are starting to see the benefit of an improving U.S. economy and are in a solid position to gain momentum toward consistently profitable operations from further strengthening of the domestic economy."