UPS today released first quarter 2014 results, noting that fierce storms early in the year hurt their earnings.
“Much of the U.S. economy was negatively affected by the severe weather conditions in the first quarter, resulting in lower UPS operating results versus the prior year,” said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO. “International and the Supply Chain and Freight segment benefitted from positive momentum during the quarter as customers utilized the strategic investments made by UPS to strengthen our portfolio.”
As reported in Logistics Management, UPS began expanding its facilities in Calgary, Alberta, Hebron, Ky., and Mira Loma, Calif. UPS officials said that investments into these facilities will add roughly 478,000 square-feet to the UPS global supply chain solutions network. The company has also rolled out three new multi-client healthcare dedicated facilities in Latin America in Mexico City, Mexico, San Paulo, Brazil, and Santiago, Chile.
UPS’ Supply Chain and Freight operating profit increased 3.5% to $148 million. Operating margin expanded 30 basis points to 6.8%, driven by gains in the Forwarding and Distribution units.
The Forwarding business delivered improved operating profit and margin gains during the quarter as the unit adapted to market changes. International Air Freight growth in shipments and tonnage were offset by lower revenue per pound. Ocean Freight and Brokerage showed both improved revenue and operating profit.
Gains from retail and healthcare shippers drove higher revenue growth in the Distribution business unit. Operating profit improved more than 10% despite additional expansion costs during the quarter.
UPS Freight revenue increased slightly on a 3.1% increase in LTL revenue per hundredweight. Both tonnage and operating profit were negatively impacted by the severe winter weather.
Kurt Kuehn, UPS chief financial officer, told analysts in a briefing this morning that the “momentum of the underlying business” was masked by the disruption of inclement weather.
“We are encouraged by the positive trends in our business and expect the remainder of the year to perform as we originally guided,” he added.