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Rail hauler Asciano has warned its fourth quarter results will be impacted after severe storms in NSW and Queensland damaged rail tracks and disrupted the Hunter Valley coal supply chain.
Asciano (AIO) chief executive John Mullen said its fourth quarter this year would be impacted by the storm damage, but reaffirmed full-year earnings guidance.
“Volumes in the Hunter Valley coal chain and north-south intermodal were impacted by these severe weather events,” Mr Mullen said.
But Asciano said it still expected to lift earnings before interest and tax by more than the 5 per cent growth rate achieved by the group in 2014.
Asciano said earnings were buoyed by improving volumes growth and a successful efficiency program driven by Pacific National.
Mr Mullen said although coal haulage remained strong as miners continued to meet demand, grain volumes remained weak, following a string of droughts along parts of the Australian east coast.
Asciano recently said it had moved 40 million tonnes of coal during the three months to March, a drop of 2 per cent year-on-year.
But Asciano said its coal haulage, in terms of net tonne kilometres, lifted 5.1 per cent during the March quarter.
Mr Mullen said the group was currently working on an integration plan for Asciano’s proposed joint venture with Australian Container Freight Services, which was still under regulatory review.
This article first appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au
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