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FECI Names Blackwell Vice President-Intermodal Sales and Marketing; Blackwell Appointment Part of Strategic Realignment of Intermodal Service.

Business Editors

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 20, 2001

Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. (NYSE:FLA) (NYSE:FLA.b) (FECI) named Michael O. Blackwell vice president-intermodal sales and marketing. Blackwell brings the customer perspective in-house to FECI with more than 30 years experience as a purchaser of transportation services.

Blackwell will have dual reporting responsibility to Tom Connard, president of FECI's trucking subsidiary, Florida Express Carriers, Inc. (FLX) and John McPherson, president of the rail subsidiary, Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) and will be responsible for all sales and marketing efforts related to the intermodal (freight moving by multiple modes of transportation) business segments for both companies, and for all other sales and marketing activities for FLX.

This appointment is part of a strategic realignment of the company's sales and marketing effort to offer complete multi-modal transportation solutions to shippers in the Southeast. Intermodal represents 40 percent of FEC's revenue today, and the continued dominance of South Florida as both a domestic hub and center of Latin American commerce is expected to spur further growth. More than half of Florida's interstate freight traffic originates in the Southeast, which is FLX's primary market focus. By integrating FLX's motor carrier speed and flexibility in the Southeast with FEC's rail cost advantage, capacity, and scheduled service into South Florida, FECI offers shippers a winning combination.

"We believe there is significant growth opportunity in the intermodal sector, and we are devoting the appropriate resources to capitalize on the combination of FECI's unique transportation franchises to grow the top line for both," said FECI chairman, president and CEO, Robert W. Anestis.

"We are pleased to have Mike join our transportation team. He brings a unique combination of experience in transportation/logistics and experience as a rail customer. Mike was previously in charge of a transportation budget in excess of $1 billion. He will bring the first hand customer perspective to the design of our service packages," continued Anestis.

FEC moves relatively more intermodal freight than its peers because of its excellent service record and Florida's unique market. The company continues to focus on tight scheduling and asset utilization to further improve transit time. The Railway currently holds the worldwide record for consecutive days of failure-free service to United Parcel Service.

FECI's intermodal focus also has strong public policy benefits. The Railway parallels Interstate-95 for over 350 miles, offering an attractive opportunity for truck freight to move by rail, alleviating the increasing congestion on Florida's major highways, and saving fuel costs as well.

"I am happy to be part of FECI's growing transportation franchise," said Blackwell. "FEC has been rooted in Florida for more than 100 years and knows how to serve the unique transportation needs of a state that is evolving into an international marketplace. My charge here is to stay close to the customer base so that our intermodal service package meets their varying needs and to actively market the service -- when freight customers ship to Florida, FECI is the solution."

"Intermodal business is there," said FEC Railway president John McPherson. "Increasing FECI's market share is simply a matter of finding the right package that includes premium service at reasonable rates, and then letting the world know that we have a great product."

"We have already seen interchange units between the companies increase over the last two quarters by over 25 percent. By integrating intermodal with Mike on board, we can continue to refine the service and market it even more effectively," said FLX president Tom Connard.

Blackwell was previously vice president - logistics, asset recovery and planning for CHEP USA. Prior to CHEP, he held positions of increasing responsibility in transportation and logistics at Georgia Pacific Corporation and Boise Cascade Corporation. Blackwell earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Boise State University and holds two associate's degrees from Mt. Hood Community College.

Florida East Coast Industries, Inc., headquartered in St. Augustine, Fla., conducts operations through four wholly owned subsidiaries, Flagler Development Company (Flagler), Florida East Coast Railway (FECR), Florida Express Carriers, Inc. (FLX) and EPIK Communications Incorporated (EPIK). Flagler owns, develops, leases and manages approximately 6 million square feet of commercial space and owns approximately 16,000 acres of land, all in Florida. FECR is a regional freight railroad that operates 351 miles of mainline track from Jacksonville to Miami. FLX provides truckload service, intermodal drayage and transportation logistics and brokerage services. EPIK, located in Orlando, Fla., is a carriers' carrier that provides bandwidth capacity, dark fiber leases and collocation services to telecommunications providers.

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements include the Company's present expectations or beliefs concerning future events, including revenues, expenses and earnings. The Company cautions that such statements are necessarily based on certain assumptions, which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to materially differ from those contained in these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause such differences include but are not limited to, the ability of the Company to complete systems and expand and enhance its telecommunications network within currently estimated time frames and budgets; the ability to compete effectively in a rapidly evolving and price competitive marketplace and to respond to customer demands and industry changes; the ability to achieve revenues from products and services in the telecommunications business that are in the early stages of development or operation; the ability to manage growth; changes in business strategy, legislative or regulatory changes; technological changes; volatility of fuel prices; and changing general economic conditions (particularly in the State of Florida) as it relates to economically sensitive products in freight service and building rental activities; changes in contractual relationships; industry competition; natural events such as weather conditions, floods, earthquakes and forest fires; and the ultimate outcome of environmental investigations or proceedings and other types of claims and litigation. Further information on these risk factors is included in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's most recently filed Forms 10K and 10Q. The Company assumes no obligation to update the information contained in this news release, which speaks only as of the date of this press release.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 20, 2001
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