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New Flyer Industries Canada ULC, Winnipeg. Heavy-duty truck manufacturing; 1,288 employees; average age: 42. Holds an annual staff wellness week that includes flu shots and nutrition classes.

Units of New Flyer Industries Inc. tumbled 12.5 per cent on Tuesday morning after the bus maker posted weaker fourth-quarter results and warned that the coming year could provide some challenges.

The Winnipeg-based transit bus manufacturer's units dropped $1.50 to $10.44 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Earlier Tuesday, the company said it booked a loss of $15.9-million (U.S.), compared to a lesser loss of $11.4-million a year ago. Revenue slipped 17.9 per cent to $204.8-million, from $249.4-million

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New Flyer builds heavy-duty transit buses in the United States and Canada. It has manufacturing facilities in Winnipeg, St. Cloud, Minn., Crookston, Minn., and Elkhart, Ind., and has about 2,300 employees.

The company said in its outlook that it expects "significant pricing pressure" throughout the year, particularly from the U.S., as some competitors rein in their production schedules, in some cases operating on reduced work weeks or extended shutdowns.

It noted that the downturn of the U.S. economy and higher unemployment has meant fewer riders on transit, with U.S. bus ridership down 1.9 per cent in the fourth quarter over last year.

As a result, funding for the U.S. market is expected to be "tough or tougher" than in 2010, the company said.

For the full year 2010, the company booked $3.9-million in profits, versus $30.4-million of losses in 2009. Revenue slipped 10.6 per cent to $983.8-million from $1.1-billion.

"Given the fundamentally different funding and operating models, management expects the Canadian market to remain relatively stable in 2011," New Flyer said in a release.

"Based on a bottom-up customer forecast, management forecasts total 2011 deliveries to the overall Canada-U.S. market to decline by 13.5 per cent to approximately 5,100 equivalent units."

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An equivalent unit gives an approximate measure of the size of a bus, and a longer than typical 60-foot bus represents two units.

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