C.H. Robinson reports first quarter growth


C.H. Robinson Worldwide has announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. The company reported revenue of $3.3bn, an increase of 5% year-on-year. The company also recorded operating income of $181.93m, representing growth of 15.9%. Accordingly C.H. Robinson’s operating margin stood at 5.51%.

The company’s truckload net revenues increased 9.6% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014. The acquisition of Freightquote.com on January 1, 2015, contributed approximately three percentage points to the truckload net revenue growth. North American truckload volumes increased by approximately 6%. Approximately half of this increase was due to the acquisition of Freightquote. Truckload net revenue margin increased in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014, due primarily to the lower cost of fuel. In North America, excluding the estimated impacts of the change in fuel, average truckload rate per mile charged to customers increased approximately 6% in the first quarter of 2015. In North America, C.H. Robinson’s truckload transportation costs increased approximately 6%, excluding the estimated impacts of the change in fuel. These increases were largely the result of market conditions and a change in the mix of the business.

The less-than-truckload division’s net revenues increased 42.0% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014. Freightquote contributed approximately 34 percentage points to the LTL net revenue growth in the first quarter of 2015. LTL volumes increased approximately 28% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014. Freightquote contributed approximately 19 percentage points to the LTL volume growth in the first quarter of 2015. Net revenue margin increased in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014. This was primarily the result of a change in the freight mix with more small customers from the Freightquote business.

The intermodal division’s net revenues increased 17.6% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014. Freightquote contributed approximately 10 percentage points to the intermodal net revenue growth in the first quarter of 2015.

The ocean transportation segment’s net revenues increased 15.1% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014. The increase in net revenues was primarily due to increased volumes and net revenue margin. Meanwhile the air transportation segment’s net revenues increased 18.2% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014. The increase was primarily due to increased volumes and net revenue margin.

For the customs segment net revenues increased 10.0% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014. The increase was due to increased transaction volumes. The other logistics services segment revenues, which includes managed services, warehousing, and small parcel, increased 6.6% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014 primarily from growth in managed services. Freightquote contributed approximately two percentage points to the other logistics services net revenue growth in the first quarter of 2015.

Sourcing net revenues increased 11.6% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014. This increase was primarily due to a case volume increase of approximately 9% across a variety of commodities and services.

For the first quarter, operating expenses increased 14.3% to $343.2m in 2015, an increase of 14.42% year-on-year. Operating expenses as a percentage of net revenues decreased to 65.4% in the first quarter of 2015 from 65.7% in the first quarter of 2014. Personnel expenses also rose by 15.8% while other selling, general, and administrative expenses increased 10.1% to $88.0m. This increase was primarily due to the acquisition of Freightquote including amortization expense of approximately $1.9m, and an increase in claims expenses, partially offset by a decrease in the provision for doubtful accounts.

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