EVANSVILLE, (Ind.) - With some 600 agents in the U.S. and Canada, Atlas Van Lines, Inc. (Atlas), based in Evansville, again climbed the ranks during 1998 to take the third place position nationally in household goods revenues.
Consistently the fastest-growing van line in America for the past ten years, Atlas held on to a newly-attained fourth-place position for just a short while during 1998 before taking another jump later in the year to its current third-place ranking. According to Howard Parker, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Atlas World Group, Inc. (AWG), the holding company for Atlas, the jump to third place reflects another record year in terms of operating revenues for Atlas Van Lines and its sister companies.
Surpassing 1997's $490 million in consolidated revenues - and passing the $500 million mark for the first time -- AWG reported more than $512 million in consolidated revenues during 1998 - a 4.7% increase over the previous year.
"The increase in Atlas revenues alone contributed $24 million over last year's total revenues," Parker noted. "That's remarkable because Atlas did not make any acquisitions during 1998. The increase is based solely on the number of Atlas' domestic shipments."
Parker adds that shipment count, more than any other factor, gives an accurate measure of the work performed in the van line industry. "An increase in shipment count indicates not only an increase in revenue, but also an increase in work activity throughout the entire division. That's the most reliable, solid sign of growth in this industry."
In addition to a significant increase in revenues over 1997, AWG finished 1998 with net income of $7.6 million - an increase of 36.8 percent over the previous year - and reported that its debt-to-equity- ratio improved to 1.8, down from 2.6 in 1997.
"AWG has grown stronger every year for a decade because our debt continues to decline, stockholders' equity increases, and revenues continue on an upswing," Parker states. "The company's overall revenue levels and freight tonnage have historically been related to the nation's general economic activity, so we anticipate that our revenues will continue to remain strong. If the economy should begin to decline, however, we're always prepared to respond accordingly."
With world headquarters in Evansville, Atlas is a major transporter of household goods and special products in the U.S., Canada, and internationally. AWG broke ground early this year for a major facility expansion, expected to be completed in early 2000.