QR cuts guid­ance af­ter dis­as­trous floods

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

RAIL op­er­a­tor QR Na­tional Ltd has cut its guid­ance for full year un­der­ly­ing earni ngs a f t e r warn­ing t hat sec­ond half prof­its will take a hit from the re­cent floods.

QR Na­tional, which listed on the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change in Novem­ber, yes­ter­day booked a first half net profit above mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions, at $ 277.5 mil­lion.

This com­pared to a loss of $ 21.2 mil­lion in the prior cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod.

Un­der­ly­ing earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est and tax from con­tin­u­ing op­er­a­tions af­ter ad­just­ing for sig­nif­i­cant items rose 31 per cent to $ 226 mil­lion for the first half to De­cem­ber 31.

QR Na­tional also cut its guid­ance f or un­der­ly­ing EBIT for the full 2011 fi­nan­cial year by up to 11 per cent, from $ 427 mil­lion to be­tween $ 380 mil­lion and $ 410 mil­lion be­cause i t ex­pected coal haulage will be fur­ther re­duced dur­ing the sec­ond half.

The com­pany, the nation’s largest coal freight com­pany, ad­vised in Jan­uary that coal haulage vol­umes would fall by be­tween 15 mil­lion and 20 mil­lion tonnes by the end of i t s t h i r d q u a r t e r a s a re­sult of floods and cy­clones.

Softer than nor­mal vol­umes were now ex­pected for coal haulage for the fourth quar­ter, given the risk of con­tin­u­ing wet weather and un­cer­tainty around f i nal cus­tomer ton­nages.

‘‘ The ex­tent to which there is any re­cov­ery is re­ally a ques­tion for the cus­tomers,’’ QR Na­tional chief ex­ec­u­tive Lance Hock­ridge said.

Lance Hock­ridge

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