Profits Rise at United Fuel


Fuel and lubricants distributor United Fuel & Energy Corp. announced its 2006 financial results, reporting that revenue for the year was $336 million, up from $284 million in 2005. Net income for the year rose to $2 million, from less than $900,000 the previous year.

United Fuel, based in Midland, Texas, attributed its higher annual revenue to a 16 percent increase in selling prices for fuel and lubricants and a 2 percent increase in sales volumes.

For the fourth quarter of 2006, the company reported revenues totaling $76 million compared to revenue of $83 million for the same quarter in 2005. The lower revenue was primarily due to a 5 percent decrease in selling prices for fuel and lubricants, and to a 3 percent decline in sales volumes to 33 million gallons, the company said.

In the fourth quarter of 2006, United Fuel reported that cost of sales declined 11 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2005, contributing to a near-doubling of net income, to $530,000 for the 2006 quarter.

United Fuel also announced last week that it has amended its revolving line of credit, expanding it to $70 million maturing in September 2012, from $55 million that was scheduled to mature September 30, 2007. The expanded credit facility includes up to $20 million of term loans, of which $14 million will be available for future acquisitions and other growth initiatives.

In 2007, we see substantial opportunity to grow through acquisitions and organically, due to our customers increasing demand for a high level of service and reliability, and their mounting desire for a single source provider in the various locations in which they operate, said United Fuel President and CEO Chuck McArthur. 2006 was an excellent year in which we increased our operating income by 67 percent over the previous year and improved unit margins by 28 percent.

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