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Press release from CNW Group

Contrans Group Inc. Announces Record Quarterly Results

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Contrans Group Inc. Announces Record Quarterly Results10:46 EDT Thursday, August 09, 2012TSX:CSSWOODSTOCK, ON, Aug. 9, 2012 /CNW/ -Financial Highlights($CAD millions except per share amounts)   Three MonthsSix MonthsFor the periods ended June 302012201120122011Revenue - as stated$135.9  $107.6  $257.3  $208.7   - fuel surcharges (20.9)   (15.8)   (39.9)   (28.3)  Revenue - transportation services 115.0100.0% 91.8100.0% 217.4100.0% 180.4100.0%Direct operating expenses - net of fuel surcharges (1) 89.477.7  71.477.8  171.078.7  143.879.7 Gross Margin 25.6 22.3  20.422.2  46.421.3  36.620.3 General and administration expenses 12.010.4  11.412.4  23.810.9  21.311.8 Net financing costs 1.81.6  1.31.4  3.41.6  2.61.4 Earnings before income taxes 11.810.3  7.78.4  19.28.8  12.77.1 Income tax expense 3.73.2  2.52.7  5.82.7  4.02.2 Net earnings and comprehensive income$8.17.1%$5.25.7%$13.46.1%$8.74.9%Earnings per share - basic and diluted$0.24  $0.15  $0.39  $0.24  Weighted average shares outstanding (000s)                 basic 33,709   35,794     34,095     35,794   diluted 33,716   35,794     34,095     35,794  Dividend declared per share$0.10  $0.10  $0.20  $0.18  Depreciation 5.5   4.0   10.7   7.6  Amortization of intangibles$1.0  $1.0  $2.0  $2.0    (1) See "Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below."Robust internal growth, recent acquisitions and an unwavering focus on operating efficiency drove Contrans' second quarter profit to a new company record" stated Stan G. Dunford, Contrans Group Inc.'s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "These excellent results reflect management's patience and adherence to the Company's operating principles and serve as a fitting reward to the Company's long-time shareholders who recognize Contrans' underlying value.""Contrans' success over the years is attributable to the dedication of the Company's employees as well as to the experience and discipline of Company management" continued Mr. Dunford. "Management has been very adept at assessing the long-term potential of acquisition targets and distinguishing those that enhance Contrans' value and stability from those that do not. Furthermore, management has concentrated on acquiring businesses in which the Company possesses expertise. Management has also been diligent in ensuring that the achievement of its growth objectives has not compromised the Company's strong balance sheet. Contrans' financial strength has allowed management to react quickly to growth opportunities and has kept the Company resilient during challenging economic times.""I expect Contrans' operations will continue to perform well in the second half of 2012" added Mr. Dunford. "I also believe that there will be increased mergers and acquisitions activity in the transportation industry. While management will continue to aggressively pursue suitable growth opportunities, Contrans will not grow solely for the sake of growing. Slow and steady growth has been part of a winning strategy for Contrans and its shareholders for the past two decades. Management remains committed to adding long-term value for Contrans' shareholders in its customary disciplined manner."Results from OperationsRevenueAcquisitions completed in 2012 and in the second half of 2011 ("acquisitions") contributed approximately $11.4 million of revenue from transportation services ("revenue") in the second quarter of 2012 ("2012 Q2") and $19.9 million in the six month period ended June 30, 2012 ("YTD").  Revenue was also favourably impacted by gaining several new major customers and by the award of additional lanes from certain existing customers. Fuel surcharges have increased in 2012 compared to 2011 due to increased revenue and due to higher fuel prices in the first quarter of 2012.Direct operating expensesAcquisitions added approximately $9.3 million ($16.4 million YTD) to direct operating expenses net of fuel surcharges ("direct operating expenses"). Excluding the impact of acquisitions, provisions for insurance claims were $0.7 million higher in 2012 Q2 than in 2011 Q2 ($1.1 million higher YTD) and depreciation of tractors and trailers was $0.5 million higher in 2012 Q2 than in 2011 Q2 ($1.7 million higher YTD). The impact of these increased costs was mitigated by improved equipment utilization.General and administration expensesAcquisitions added approximately $0.8 million of general and administration expenses in 2012 Q2 ($1.4 million YTD).  Professional fees of approximately $0.6 million were incurred in 2012 Q2 related to management's proposal to shareholders that would have eliminated the Company's dual class share structure. The provision for doubtful accounts was reduced by $0.4 million in 2011 Q1 but this provision has not changed materially in 2012. Improved profit performance in 2012 compared to 2011 has resulted in an increase in the provision for management incentive plans by $0.2 million in 2012 Q2 compared to 2011 Q2 ($0.8 million increase 2012 YTD compared to 2011 YTD). This was partially offset by a $0.5 million reduction in compensation expense in 2012 Q2 compared to 2011 Q2 due to the graded vesting of stock options that were issued in 2011 Q2 ($0.4 million reduction in 2012 YTD compared to 2011 YTD). No options have been issued in 2012.Net financing costsNet financing costs have increased $0.5 million in 2012 Q2 compared to 2011 Q2 ($0.8 million YTD). Financing costs increased in 2012 as a result of added equipment financing debt outstanding.  Contrans' financing income has decreased in 2012 as the Company used cash and short-term investments to pay for three acquisitions and to purchase its own shares for cancellation under its normal course issuer bid ("NCIB").Cash FlowContrans made one acquisition in 2012 Q2 (three acquisitions YTD) for cash consideration of $8.0 million ($20.1 million YTD). Details of these acquisitions can be found in note 6 of the interim financial statements.Contrans has invested $15.7 million in capital expenditures to date in 2012 including expenditures that have been funded through finance leases. Of this amount, $4.0 million has been invested to provide tractors and trailers to support internal growth initiatives.Contrans purchased 0.3 million (1.6 million YTD) Class A shares for cancellation for consideration of $3.1 million ($13.7 million YTD) under its NCIB during 2012 Q2. The NCIB was initiated in November 2011 and was completed on April 4, 2012. The bid resulted in 2.1 million Class A shares being purchased for cancellation at an average cost of $8.42 for total consideration of $17.7 million.Use of Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresManagement has included a non-GAAP financial measure, "Direct operating expenses - net of fuel surcharges", to supplement its interim financial statements. This non-GAAP measure does not have any standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS and therefore it may not be comparable to similar measures employed by other issuers. The data is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS.Management believes that it is important to isolate the effects of fuel surcharges, a volatile source of revenue and operating expenses, when analyzing operating results. Accordingly, the percentages in the Financial Highlights table were calculated using revenue from transportation services alone as the base. In addition, operating expenses are stated after netting fuel surcharges against fuel expenses in the Financial Highlights table. Management believes that this facilitates a better comparison of operating expenses and profit margins between periods.Forward-looking StatementsManagement's discussion and analysis contains certain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and include, but are not limited to, changes in government regulations regarding weights and dimensions of highway equipment, the age and condition of the transportation fleet and the growth of Contrans' business. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as ''may'', ''will'', ''should'', ''expect'', ''plan'', ''anticipate'', ''believe'', ''estimate'', ''predict'', ''potential'', ''continue'' or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Such statements reflect the current views and estimates of management of Contrans with respect to future events, as of the date such statements are made, and they involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. In evaluating these statements, readers should specifically consider factors such as the risks outlined under ''Risk Factors" in Contrans' Annual Information Form, which is available at www.sedar.com. Although Contrans has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual events, actions or results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause such events, actions or results to differ. Contrans is under no obligation (and expressly disclaims any such obligation) to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's views or estimates change. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.   SOURCE: Contrans Group Inc.For further information: Stan G. Dunford, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, or Gregory W. Rumble, President and Chief Operating Officer Phone: 519-421-4600 E-mail: info@contrans.ca Web site: www.contrans.ca