KiwiRail’s result for the half year to December 2019 reflects a solid performance despite a challenging business environment.
KiwiRail Group Chief Executive Greg Miller says: “Our reported revenue for the half year was $333.6 million, up $4.8 million on HY19. Excluding the impact of fuel cost recoveries, our underlying revenues grew by $8.2 million or 3 per cent for this period.
“We are pleased we have held the revenue line in a difficult environment that included an economic downturn in multiple markets, along with natural events that damaged the network. Despite these challenges, we saw our import/export business grow by 5 per cent compared to the previous half year.
Our operating surplus was $26.9 million. This result reflects the positive impact from a change in accounting treatment of leases, which was offset by the impact of the softer freight volumes and passenger numbers and the unexpected eight-week line closure at Omoto due to slips. In addition, as our operational and project related activity has increased, we have increased our front-line labour resource to ensure we can continue to operate and maintain our network safely and effectively.
Looking ahead, we expect market challenges to continue into the second half of year. KiwiRail will be affected, as are other New Zealand transport, import and producer companies, by the effects of Coronavirus.
KiwiRail is in a transitional phase that will allow it to play a critical part in an integrated transport system that will deliver long term benefits for New Zealand,” Mr Miller says.
“We’re making good progress, but we are still dealing with the results of many years of underinvestment that has limited our ability to continue to provide the services our customers need, and to realise the full potential and value of rail.
This is a watershed year for KiwiRail, as we start the transformation of our business. The Government has made a huge commitment to rail, and the investment that is being made in our network and in our rolling stock will position us well to meet the current and future demand of our customers.
We aim to keep a strong commercial focus for KiwiRail, while also focusing on the added benefits rail brings by reducing heavy commercial vehicle wear and tear on roads, sustaining freight transport that reduces emissions by 66 per cent compared to road transport, and reducing congestion on roads.
Meanwhile, safety remains a priority.
Our commitment to safety is seen in the 121 per cent increase in the number of safe work conversations held across our team. And our latest figures show that last year had the lowest number of collisions between vehicles and trains on record, with 12 collisions in 2019 compared to 25 in 2018.”
Highlights for the half year include:
KiwiRail’s graduate programme was judged the best by the New Zealand Association of Graduate Employers
Note: Copies of the reports are available to download