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The Andersons Rail Group posts quarterly loss

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

The Rail Group of The Andersons Inc. had an operating loss of $1.1 million in the third quarter of 2008, down sharply from the $5.2 million it earned in the third quarter of 208.

In an earnings statement Thursday, the company said, "The group continues to be impacted by the double-digit declines in rail traffic." It added, "Gross profit from the leasing business was significantly less due mainly to lower utilization rates and the corresponding increase in storage expense from idle assets. The group now has approximately 24,000 cars and locomotives. The average utilization rate in the quarter was 74.4% in comparison to 93.3% for the same period last year."

The Andersons reported a corporate profit of $1.3 million in the third quarter on revenue of $601 million. Its best performer was the Grain & Ethanol Group, with operating income of $8.9 million, compared to year-earlier results of $9.4 million. Losses were reported by the Plant Nutrient Group and the Turf & Specialty Group.