Revenues at Maine’s second-largest public firm are climbing again towards pre-pandemic ranges because it adjusts to work-at-home and buy-local market tendencies that accelerated in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
Portland-based WEX, which reported report income of $1.7 billion in 2019, noticed a 21 % drop in income within the second quarter of final yr when the pandemic hit Maine. Regardless of continued losses, revenues have recovered incrementally every quarter since. On Thursday, it reported a 5 percent decline in first-quarter revenue in comparison with that quarter final yr.
Among the many main adjustments on the monetary expertise firm was a brand new product, the CrossRoads Freight gas card, introduced this month for house owners of truck fleets that embrace long-haul and light-duty automobiles. Clients are focusing extra on “last-mile” supply as retailers like supermarkets turn to local suppliers for merchandise fairly than shopping for merchandise trucked throughout the nation, WEX CEO Melissa Smith mentioned.
These smaller automobiles are used for native deliveries and have a tendency to refuel in smaller retail gasoline stations, however the card would allow them to additionally refuel and obtain reductions at truck stops. The 2 varieties of refueling networks sometimes require separate playing cards.
That a part of WEX’s fleet card enterprise remains to be comparatively new, however it does have a primary buyer, J.B. Hunt Transport Companies of Arkansas.
“It’s shifting our merchandise to the place our clients are and the place they’re fascinated about working,” she mentioned.
One other pivot got here in WEX’s company funds enterprise, which noticed revenues rise 20 % within the first quarter of this yr in comparison with that quarter in 2019. A part of the rise got here from clients outsourcing extra of their accounting processes, one other development Smith expects to proceed as clients search for extra methods to conduct enterprise electronically.
Smith expects different sectors of WEX’s enterprise, together with playing cards that handle healthcare and journey bills which might be down now, to return again over time. The pandemic threw a wrench into what had been a enterprise with traditionally predictable patterns, she mentioned.
“We’ve got by no means been on this atmosphere earlier than, so we simply didn’t know what to anticipate,” she mentioned.