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Aurizon share price reaches record high in first six months

AURIZON has seen record tonnage on the Central Queensland Coal Network in the first six months of the current financial year.

The company's share price has also reached record highs, soaring to $5.25 on Monday before closing at $5.19.

Despite a strong result in the first half of 2013/2014, Aurizon looks set to cut 50 jobs in North Queensland.

In terms of business segments, coal performance generated a 3% increase in revenue and operating costs.

Throughput on the CQCN reached 107.6 million tonnes, an increase of 20% on the previous year.

On the strength of those record volumes, Aurizon adjusted its yearly forecast for coal haulage to 207 million to 212 million tonnes from the previous guidance of 200 million to 205 million tonnes.

The company recorded a net profit for the six-month period of $107 million, down from $176 million. The underlying net profit was up 18% to $263 million.

Aurizon CEO Lance Hockridge (pictured) said that the six-month results re-affirmed that Aurizon was on target for an operating ratio of 75% in 2015.

"We're running trains at higher velocities and with bigger payloads, with lower fuel and operating costs, and a smaller maintenance footprint," he said.

Aurizon delivered $417 million in capital investment, which included $215 million on growth projects including the Wiggins Island Rail Project, Hay Point Expansion and Rolleston Electrification.

An Aurizon spokesman said the company believed there was a strong future for the north-west rail corridor in Queensland but changes were needed to make it a long-term, commercially sustainable business in a highly competitive market.

The changes would result in a net reduction of about 50 positions at locations from Townsville to Mount Isa.

Topics:  aurizon



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