Arkansas Best Corp. says it posted a $7.9 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The Fort Smith-based freight transportation company says the loss reflects an increase in workers' compensation and higher costs amid flat revenue, tonnage and pricing at ABF Freight System. The company posted a $1.4 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The firm said in a statement that its emerging, non-asset-based businesses were profitable and had higher revenue, helping increase fourth-quarter revenue to $537 million from $463.2 million a year earlier.
"We are pleased with revenue growth and improving profitability at our emerging businesses as they added up to more than 20 percent of our total company fourth quarter revenue," Arkansas Best President and Chief Executive Officer Judy R. McReynolds said in a statement. "Expanding our portfolio of expedited and premium logistics services was a major initiative in 2012 as our customers' supply chains grow ever more complex. We are encouraged by the trends we have seen in these businesses. Among other things, we added key sales and customer service personnel and invested in service-enhancing technologies, all of which were well-received in the marketplace."
For the year, the company posted a loss of $7.7 million, compared with profits of $6.2 million in 2011. Revenue for the year increased 10.5 percent from $1.9 billion a year ago to $2.1 billion in 2012, the first time Arkansas Best revenue has topped $2 billion.
Arkansas Best executives will hold a conference call at 8:30 a.m. to discuss the company's fourth-quarter and full-year results. Those interested may listen in by calling (800) 618-4645 or by visiting Arkansas Best's website, arkbest.com. After the call, a recorded playback will be available through the end of the day on March 2 by dialing (800) 633-8284 and entering the ID number 21643591 or by visiting the website.