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We are extremely pleased to report that Asciano has delivered another strong earnings performance in the 2013 financial year, despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, both in Australia and in global markets. Our performance reflects the benefits of new contracts, organic growth in some of our markets and the strength of our business activities across the Australian transport and logistics industry.
We have continued to pursue our strategic objective of becoming Australia’s leading provider of critical logistics services within essential infrastructure-based supply chains and have taken further steps to promote and embed our core values of Performance, Customer, Safety and People and Teamwork.
Asciano has continued to deliver strong revenue and earnings growth. In the 2013 financial year, underlying revenue (net of coal access) increased 10.6% to $3.6billion, which drove a 12.5% increase in earnings before interest and tax to $693.8 million. This earnings growth, coupled with lower funding costs, resulted in a 39.2% increase in underlying net profit after tax¹ and minority interests, to $348.1 million. The Company reported a fully diluted underlying earnings per share growth of 39.1%, a pleasing result for Asciano shareholders.
The financial result was driven by strong volume growth in Pacific National Coal following the commencement of new contracts in Queensland and organic volume growth from some existing coal haulage contracts in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales. In addition, there was strong growth in our Bulk & Automotive Port Services division, driven by new contracts, an increase in volumes at some regional ports, further growth in car storage volumes, and an increased contribution from NewZealand-based forestry marshalling and ports services operator C3 Limited, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Asciano in November 2012.
Trading conditions throughout the year were extremely challenging for both Pacific National Rail and Patrick Terminals & Logistics, with soft volumes
reflecting weakness in the Australian domestic economy. Pacific National Rail reported a 2.8% increase in revenue to $1.36 billion while Terminals & Logistics reported a 4.2% decline in underlying revenue adjusted for one-off items to $731.5 million, driven by a 1.4%decline in container lifts and a 6.1% decline in logistics revenue.
Over the last year we have increased our focus on driving improved business efficiency and general cost reduction. Our business improvement program generated savings of $45.7 million, significantly above our 2013 financial year target of $25 million. Pleasingly, we are well on the way to achieving our five year 2016 financial year business improvement target of $150 million with cumulative savings to date of $82 million.
Further information including the Annual Report can be found at: http://www.asciano.com.au/resources/newsres/101013023254_2013_aio_annual_report.pdf
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