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Student Transportation Inc. Reports Fiscal 2014 Second Quarter Results

Stocks in this article: STB

BARRIE, Ontario, Feb. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Student Transportation Inc. ("STI" or the "Company") (TSX:STB) (Nasdaq:STB) today reported financial results for the second quarter and first six months of fiscal year 2014, ended December 31, 2013. All financial results are reported in US dollars except as otherwise noted.

"The operating results for the second quarter were partially tempered by the additional start up expenses from the growth we achieved and extremely harsh, icy weather in December," said Denis J. Gallagher, Chairman and CEO. "We are pleased that in the first half of fiscal year 2014, the operating results, including revenues and margin improvements, have improved over the prior year same period. Over the past six months we realized a 15.3% increase in revenues, while Adjusted EBIDTA* increased 18.2% due primarily to the net growth secured in connection with the two tuck-in acquisitions closed in the first quarter and the nine bid wins for the current fiscal year. Those nine bid wins added over 1,000 vehicles to our fleet, and included 600 propane alternative fuel vehicles deployed for our largest contract award to date with the Omaha Public Schools. We also had a large start up in Peel Region in Ontario and two additional contracts to start up in Pennsylvania."

Revenue and Adjusted EBITDA* for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 were $135.5 million and $30.9 million, respectively, compared to $119.4 million and $28.4 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The reported net income for the quarter was similar at $2.9 million, or $0.04 per common share compared to $3.0 million or $0.04 per common share for the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

"We are off to a good start for the first half of the fiscal year despite some challenges, but these challenges we are experienced with and have dealt with in prior years. We had some school closings in December due to severe ice and snow storms in most of our operations," said Denis J. Gallagher, Chairman and CEO. "We have endured some additional weather related closings in January and February again due to severe winter conditions throughout a number of our regions. Similar to prior years, we expect to recoup most of the associated deferred revenues from these closings over the balance of the school year as most of our contracts are for 180 school days. We did an extraordinary job in having our fleet ready and prepared when our school administrators called and asked if we could operate. That takes additional costs in labour, fuel and maintenance that we incurred and won't recoup, but it is an investment in safety we have to make. I am proud to say we didn't have customers cancelling school because we were not prepared to run. I'm sure everyone realizes you don't just start the bus and go in conditions like we were experiencing. There is a great deal of preparation and work that goes into having the buses started, cleaned off, warm, and ready to roll. We were able to see some overall fuel cost reductions in the first half of fiscal 2014, as fuel came in at 8.3% of revenues compared to 9.0% for same period last year. So our program of shifting to more customer paid fuel contracts along with the new propane vehicles deployed contributed to that decline in cost. We were watching the performance of the propane vehicles in sub zero weather very carefully, and as expected, we had no issues with them at all," added Gallagher.

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