$278M PROFIT FOR QRN

$278M PROFIT FOR QRN

A SMOOTH transition to privatisation and transformation initiatives saw QR National Group (QRN) deliver a solid first half FY11 performance.

In the half year ASX report, CEO Lance Hockridge (pictured) says revenue of $1.7 billion increased by $266 million over the prior comparable period, primarily due to uplifts in network services and freight.

The increased operating revenue also delivered a $278 million profit for shareholders.

"In the coal division, revenue quality improved with new market-based contracts and above rail revenue per tonnage increases," says Hockridge.

“Strong volumes were delivered through the central Queensland coal systems despite record rainfall during the second quarter.

“Net debt at 31 December 2010 was $295 million, with $2.7 billion of un-drawn facilities available to fund future growth.”

During the first half and to February 2011, the company announced coal contracts with Jellinbah Resources and Peabody Energy.

“In Iron ore, the company announced the signing of a Heads of Agreement for up to four million tonnes per annum with Mineral Resources Limited, which builds on the momentum of iron ore growth in Western Australia,” says Hockridge.

“Global demand for Australian coal and iron ore is expected to continue along the current strong growth trajectory – this demand will underpin the company’s growth and diversity initiatives.

“The company has progressed its reform initiatives, including the proposed voluntary redundancy program – this demonstrates the company’s commitment to moving to industry peer benchmarks.”

The freight railway company’s shares are at $3.13 this morning.

RETRACTION: Figures published in the March edition of Brisbane Business News indicate that shares in QRN had dropped by 96 per cent in February. This is an oversight by the publisher and we apologise unreservedly for the error.

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