South Portland-based Wright Express saw a big year-over-year increase in fourth quarter profits, the company reported Wednesday, with a jump to $32.8 million, up from $18.5 million in 2010.
Those 2011 fourth quarter profits were on revenues of $139.8 million, Wright said in financial statements.
According to the financial services/fleet management company, it had full-year revenues of $553 million in 2011, an increase of 42 percent over the previous year.
“2011 was another great year for Wright Express as we experienced continued strength across our business and considerably surpassed our expectations. These results demonstrate further progression against our multi-pronged strategy to grow our North American fleet business, diversify our revenue streams and build out our international presence,” said Chairman, President and CEO Michael Dubyak. “As we enter 2012 and think about the year ahead, our strategy remains the same. We are committed to maintaining our investments in the business to accelerate the development of our new products, while also supporting sustainable future growth both domestically and internationally.”
For the first quarter of 2012, Wright Express expects revenue in the range of $134 million to $139 million and profits in the range of $34 million to $36 million.
For the full year 2012, the company expects revenue in the range of $590 million to $610 million and profits to be in the range of $160 million to $168 million.
Dubyak told the Bangor Daily News that growth in 2012 came from three main areas. The company’s main North American fleet card program added business, and saw growth, he said, as did other areas such as online travel payment processing. New acquisitions, such as payroll cards, weren’t large revenue generators, but they hit the companies targets and added to growth, he said. And earlier acquisitions, such as a business unit in Australia, came fully online in 2011, adding to overall revenue increases, he said.
The company was not impacted by the ongoing financial crisis in Europe, he said, though Wright Express is beginning to make inroads to that regional market. The company has recently signed a contract with an online travel program in the United Kingdom, similar to the business it has in the United States, Dubyak noted.
“It’s indicative of being able to transport our intellectual products into Europe from the U.S.,” said Dubyak. “We’re looking to penetrate into Europe with that online travel product.”
Wright plans to more than double the sales representatives on the payroll card side of the business, Dubyak said, adding, “that has nice promise there.”
And the company continues the roll-out of its “over the road” product, which offers electronic card services for the long-distance trucking sector. The product allows not just fleet management tools, but also financial tools for the truckers.
“At the truck stops you need to have products that service more than just the vehicles, you need to service the driver,” said Dubyak. “When they drive in, their fleet manager has already said they can have so much cash, the can get a shower, get accommodations for the night.”
Dubyak said he didn’t see that area having a big impact in 2012, but does see growth in the future. It provides an entry into the heavy trucking market, as well, an area that Wright Express hasn’t played in extensively.
Wright Express has more than 850 employees in six countries. Wright trades under the symbol WXS on the New York Stock Exchange, and was trading at $59.90 Wednesday morning.