The Australian rail freight company Aurizon has raised its guidance for its coal haulage volume for the fiscal year 2013-14, from 200-205 million t to 207-212 million t.
The company also reported a 19% increase in underlying EBIT of AU$ 423 million for the half year ended 31st December 2013, with record tonnages in coal and iron ore matched by continued momentum in cost reduction and transformation initiatives.
Comments from CEO Lance Hockridge
“In terms of business segments, coal performance was strong during the half with a 3% increase in revenue and a 3% reduction in operating costs contributing to a 32% increase in underlying EBIT. Volumes grew 13% to 109.7 million t and represent a record six-month period for Aurizon.
“The network business had a material increase in throughput to 107.6 million t, an increase of 20% on H1 FY2013. This also represented the largest six-month period in tonnage throughput across the Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN). Underlying EBIT reduced 2% due to lower revenue yield from fixed access revenues for the CQCN […] and increased costs, largely undertaken to improve future volume upside.”
“We remain confident in the long-term drivers of global demand for Australian resources, including coal and iron ore, based on continuing urbanisation and industrialisation of Asian economies.”
Hockridge also noted that the strong coal haulage volumes seen in H1 FY2014 have continued in January and February, resulting in the company increasing its expectations for the full 2014 financial year.
The increased coal haulage is expected despite the impact of recent bad weather in Queensland, which resulted in coal tonnage losses of approximately 1.5 million t, and an estimated loss of approximately AU$ 5 million in revenue, as of 11th February 2014.
Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/handling/20022014/rail_freight_company_upgrades_coal_haulage_outlook_545/