CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-UTi Worldwide posts loss as demand for air freight weakens

Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:34am EDT

(Removes incorrect reference to $400 mln of UTi's debt coming due in April)

March 31 (Reuters) - Logistics company UTi Worldwide Inc reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by weak demand for air freight as customers opt for slower, but cheaper, modes of shipping.

Air freight volumes fell 0.4 percent in North America last year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). (r.reuters.com/saq97v)

UTi Chief Executive Eric Kirchner said weak pricing weighed on the company's results in "a lackluster global economy."

The company said there were no longer concerns about its ability to continue operations as it raised about $725 million to refinance debt.

Net loss attributable to UTi narrowed to $50.7 million, or 48 cents per share, in the quarter ended Jan. 31 from $142.8 million, or $1.38 per share, a year earlier.

UTi posted a loss of 15 cents per share, excluding items.

Revenue fell 2.1 percent to $1.08 billion.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted loss of 11 cents per share on revenue of $1.09 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

UTi's shares closed at $11.26 on the Nasdaq on Friday. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)