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August 3, 2020 2:30 PM, EDT

Patriot Transportation Posts Net Profit on Lower Revenue for Fiscal Q3

Florida Rock & Tank Lines truckFlorida Rock & Tank Lines is a subsidiary of Patriot Transportation. (IFADAT1 via YouTube)

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Patriot Transportation Holding posted an increase in net income on declining revenue for its fiscal third quarter, the company reported July 29.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based trucking and real estate holding firm posted net income of $573,000, or 17 cents per share, for the three months ending June 30. That compared with $396,000, or 12 cents a share, during the same time the previous year.

Total revenue decreased by 30.9% to $19 million from $27.5 million.

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“While our business has not produced the returns we prefer in the last couple of years, we believe the recent changes we made to our business by eliminating lower-rated freight, existing underperforming markets and reducing overhead, we’re beginning to have a positive impact in early March,” CEO Robert Sandlin said during a call with investors.

Patriot Transportation has had to contend with the coronavirus pandemic like the rest of the trucking industry. Management originally planned to push rates higher. The focus switched in March to managing the business through the pandemic by dealing with reduced volumes and controlling costs.

“Our intention was to continue to push rates higher to offset the rising cost of driver hiring and retention, and auto liability insurance premiums,” Sandlin said. “In mid-March, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and management immediately went into crisis-management mode to control cost with significantly reduced miles and revenue.”

Patriot Transportation said that revenue miles were down 31% over the quarter to 2,775,000 compared with last year. The company attributes this primarily to the coronavirus pandemic, the downsizing of certain customer business due to inadequate freight rates and the closure of its Wilmington, N.C., terminal April 25.

Transportation revenue per mile was up 14 cents, which helped offset the negative impact of fewer miles. Fuel surcharge revenue was down 13 cents per mile compared with the same quarter last year.

Patriot subsidiary Florida Rock & Tank Lines ranks No. 15 on the Transport Topics list of the top for-hire carriers in the tank/bulk sector.

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