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Celadon Group Inc. (NYSE: CGI) today reported its financial and operating results for the three months ended September 30, 2012, the first fiscal quarter of the Company’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.
Revenue for the quarter increased 6.5% to $153.3 million in the 2012 quarter from $144.0 million in the 2011 quarter. Freight revenue increased 6.4% to $122.1 million in the 2012 quarter from $114.8 million in the 2011 quarter. Net income increased 50.9% to $8.3 million in the 2012 quarter from $5.5 million for the same quarter last year. Earnings per diluted share increased 50.0% to $0.36 in the 2012 quarter from $0.24 for the same quarter last year.
We are pleased with the results, as earnings per share of 36 cents exceeded the September 2011 quarter of 24 cents per share. Operating ratio, which represents operating expenses as a percent of revenue excluding fuel surcharge was 87.6%, compared to 90.9% in the September 2011 quarter. Also, even in a difficult economic and industry operating environment, this represents our second consecutive quarter with a sub-90% operating ratio.
Several key factors contributed to the improvement, including an increase of 2% in revenue per loaded mile and decreases in operations, maintenance, and fuel expense. These decreases were achieved through a significant equipment refresh program that replaced out the majority of both our tractor and trailer fleets with more fuel efficient equipment, effectively taking the average age for each to 1.3 years and 2.3 years, respectively. Regarding equipment cost, in addition to reduced average age, we have continued to streamline our operations to reduce the number of tractors to trailers being operated to support our existing business levels. Offsetting these improvements was a decline in miles per seated truck of about 5% from the prior year, which was a result of the weak freight environment. Through our series of opportunistic acquisitions made over the last year, we have been able to increase our average seated count by approximately 8%, which has positioned us to better service our customers and provide the capacity to significantly increase miles when additional fleets exit the market, as well as when the economic climate improves.