AURIZON POSTS LOSS AMID SUBDUED MARKET CONDITIONS

AURIZON POSTS LOSS AMID SUBDUED MARKET CONDITIONS

AURIZON Holdings Limited (ASX: AZJ) has reported a 43 per cent fall in full year profit to $253 million, following a haul of asset impairments.

The freight operator previously announced transformation-related impairments of $190 million, asset costs of $127 million and a $69 million voluntary redundancy package.

Statutory earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was down 32 per cent at $465 million, in comparison to the same period in 2013.

Underlying EBIT increased 13 per cent due to record coal and ore tonnages, as well as stronger volumes from the Goonyella to Abbot Point Expansion.

CEO and managing director Lance Hockridge (pictured) says it’s a solid result in the face of subdued market conditions.

“Across all metrics our operating performance is improving and we continue to pursue significant operational reforms to make the company leaner, more efficient and more profitable,” Hockridge says.

“Collectively these results illustrate the success of the company’s cost outs and efficiency improvements, with the ongoing roll out of our Integrated Operating Plan providing strong discipline for our continuing reform work.”

Hockridge says the company is quietly confident in the future of Australian resources, backed by a number of expansion plans in the industry. 

This includes a $1.4 billion joint acquisition of Aquila Resources to develop rail and port infrastructure in West Pilbara, partnership with GVK-Hancock to deliver a transport solution for the Galilee Basin and 33 per cent stake in the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance consortium.

“We are making large steps towards world-class performance and I’m confident our success will continue in the current year and beyond,” Hockridge says.

AZJ remains on track to deliver its 75 per cent operating ratio target in FY15, with anticipated cost reductions up to $300 million this year.

An unfranked dividend of 8.5 cents per share will be paid on September 22.

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