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11/16/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

After poor quarter, Emons plans expense cuts, marketing additions


Emons Transportation Group Inc. Nov. 13 reported discouraging first-quarter fiscal-year 2002 financial results.
Operating revenues of $5.8 million dropped 13.8 percent from $6.7 million, operating income of $624,000 plunged 46.7 percent from $1.17 million and net income of $194,000 plummeted 65.6 percent from $564,000 compared with first-quarter FY 2001 figures.
"We saw some softening in the economy in April, and since September it's softened some more," says Robert Grossman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the holding company that owns and operates four short lines. "We're looking at all expenses and making cuts, including discretionary spending."
So far, those cuts don't include jobs. However, Emons did combine what used to be two daily New England trains into one.
"But we're not gutting sales and marketing — you need to develop new customers and not crawl into a hole," says Grossman, adding that Emons recently hired a salesman in Pennsylvania and might soon hire an additional New England salesperson.
For now, Emons plans to ride the economic tide despite uncertainty as to when its financial fortunes might turn around.
"Our customers have had trouble forecasting their business, so it's hard for us to do any forecasting," says Grossman. "The economy will be back but who knows when. Just for now, don't be a hero."
Jeff Stagl


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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