Strong growth in freight and tourism is behind KiwiRail’s improved $55m operating surplus (excluding non-recurring items), says Acting Chair Bob Major.
KiwiRail’s operating surplus was up $6m on last year, driven by a $39m increase in rail freight revenue and increased utilisation of the Main North Line following the Kaikoura Earthquake closure.
Tourism was up $7 million due to higher numbers of tourists on the Interislander ferries and scenic trains, with the return of the Coastal Pacific following the Kaikoura earthquake.
“This is a transitional year for KiwiRail. Not only did KiwiRail deliver a solid result, we are also very grateful to our Government shareholders for securing the future of rail for New Zealand. The Government’s commitment of $1 billion in this year’s budget will enable us to bring our service up to standard over future years.
Mr Major said KiwiRail’s people remained a priority for KiwiRail.
“KiwiRail’s engagement survey achieved a highly satisfying response, at 87 per cent of all workers despite many being on shifts or unwired in remote locations. Our NPS was +24, up from +1 last year.
“We are particularly proud of the way our South Island teams pulled together in Christchurch on March 15 to ensure all our team members were accounted for, counselling was engaged promptly and a week of site visits ensued to ensure the wellbeing of our people.
“This has also been a year of transformation for our senior team. With a change in focus from maintaining a declining rail business to reinvigorating rail we have started at the top with the appointment of Group Chief Executive, Greg Miller. We have been putting in place other key members of the team to assist KiwiRail with upcoming work made possible by our budget and PGF allocations.”
 Operating surplus represents earnings before depreciation & amortisation, interest, impairment, capital grants and fair value changes. FY19 Operating surplus excludes impact of non-recurring items.