QR cuts guidance after disastrous floods
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.