04/22/2015 14:39 EDT | Updated 06/22/2015 01:12 EDT

TransForce profit, revenues surge on acquisitions in first quarter

MONTREAL - Transportation and logistics company TransForce said its net income and revenue surged in the first quarter as a result of acquisitions and a lower Canadian dollar.The Montreal-based company earned $14 million in the three months ended March 31, up from $5.9 million a year ago."Despite negative impacts from lower oil prices and harsh winter conditions that affected the east coast, TransForce generated strong first-quarter results which reflect last year's significant acquisitions, operating improvements and a favourable effect from currency variations due to our business mix," said chairman and CEO Alain Bedard.Adjusted profit, which excludes one-time charges including currency gains, were $29.3 million or 28 cents per share. That compared with $24 million or 24 cents per share in the prior-year period.Revenues before fuel surcharges increased 36 per cent to $926.2 million, or $1.03 billion including fuel.TransForce (TSX:TFI) was expected to earn 29 cents per share on $1.06 billion of revenues, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.The company generated $40.5 million in free cash flow that was used to reduce its debt by more than $35 million.The stronger results were led by the truckload segment, which earned $27 million on $364 million in revenues, compared with $11 million on $165.4 million in revenue a year ago. TransForce last year bought Ontario-based Contrans Group Inc. for $495 million in cash plus $85 million of debt.TransForce's package and courier division earned $14.7 million on $286.6 million of revenue, up from $13 million on $276.6 million in the first quarter of 2014.Less-than-truckload earnings fell to $3 million from $4.4 million even though revenues increased nearly 23 per cent to $183.3 million. Waste management earnings slipped slightly to $6.7 million on $42.7 million of revenues.The company said it continues to expect revenue in 2015 will approach $4.5 billion, with earnings in the range of $1.85 to $2 per share.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter