Increased trucking activity in part helped push Bandag Inc.'s second quarter earnings up 36.8 percent to $11.9 million from $8.69 million last year.
Net sales for the second quarter were $211.1 million, up from $204.1 million last year. For the year's first six months, Bandag reported consolidated net earnings of $15.9 million, up from $11.1 million the year before. Sales for that period were $384.6 million, up from $379.4 million.
Bandag said several factors had a hand in the improved results. Globally, tread volume was up 5 percent in the quarter due to increased trucking activity, particularly in North America. North American business unit volume was about 3 percent higher than the year before.
Also, Speedco Inc., in its first full quarter as part of Bandag, was a factor. Speedco, a quick-service truck lubrication business, bought six licensed locations in June and now operates 32 on-highway, quick-service truck lubrication locations. Speedco's net sales for the quarter were $14.4 million, Bandag said.
Bandag also realized some gain from improvements in its Tire Distribution Systems (TDS) Inc. unit, which reduced its operating loss in the quarter to $34,000 from $2.4 million last year.
Still, Bandag's operating income in North America fell to $16.2 million from $17.7 million last year. The company said the decrease is due primarily to increased raw material costs and higher operating and other expenses.
``The improved performance we experienced during the second quarter is heartening, and, while we're hopeful that the renewed strength we're seeing in trucking activity gains momentum, we continue to moderate our optimism and closely monitor global economic activity,'' said Martin Carver, chairman and CEO of Bandag.
He said the company had received an initial payment of approximately $32 million from Yellow Roadway Corp. on July 9 for the repurchase of tire and wheel assets. Bandag formerly had supplied tire and wheel services to Roadway Express prior to Roadway's merger with Yellow last year.