Queensland Rail’s predicted revenue growth was hampered by the January floods that inundated the Bowen Basin and Central Queensland, QR’s chairman John Prescott said.
The rail company recently announced that it had experienced a 6% rise in net profit after tax to $194.5million for the 2008 financial year.
Prescott said the result was sound but returns were still inadequate and required substantial improvement to reach commercially sustainable levels.
The company is planning to spend $8 billion over the next five years on its freight and passenger networks.
“At a time of unprecedented levels of capital spending QR is committed to improving its performance to achieve satisfactory returns for the people of Queensland,” Prescott said.
Queensland Rail is a major competitor to the listed ports and rail operator Asciano, which finds itself under threat of a takeover by private equity firm TPG and Global Infrastructure Partners, Asciano which is labouring under heavy debt levels, is expanding into Queensland to try to snare market share from the Queensland government-owned firm.
QR reported on October 31 that freight volumes for the 12 months ended June 30, 2008, increased by 3% to 245 million tonnes.
Total revenues from the freight and passenger service arms increased by 11% to $3.5 billion.
But earnings before interest and tax margins slipped to 17.3% in the 2008 financial year, from 17.8% the year before.