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Asciano?s $1bn net loss saved by coal haulage

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Asciano reported a net loss in 2009/10 of almost $1bn due to a significant tax impairment charge and the weak performance by its container ports division, however, its coal haulage operations was a key driver of earnings growth for the year. </span> <p>By Jennifer Perry</p><p>Net loss for the 12 months ending June 30 widened to $976m from $244m after taking into account a tax&nbsp impairment charge of $1.1bn, Asciano said.</p><p>Asciano delivered a 15% increase in Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) before significant items.</p><p>During 2010, Pacific National secured a significant number of coal haulage contracts in both New South Wales and Queensland.</p><p>“If we combine the seven contracts signed … for both existing and growth volumes we have, in 2010, secured over $3.3bn of total revenues over an average term of 10 years. This is a significant achievement for the Pacific National Coal business,” Asciano chief executive Mark Rowsthorn said.</p><p>Asciano’s Pacific National Coal business moved more than 14.5m tonnes during the year and haulage volumes in the Hunter Valley increased by 4%.</p><p>Pacific National Intermodal achieved strong earnings despite a reduction in overall volumes hauled. Steel tonnages increased by 14% due to customer restocking and increased non residential construction which was offset by softer containerised freight volumes.</p><p>Asciano will be restructuring its portfolio of businesses and move from four to three divisions. The new structure will include: Patrick Ports, Pacific National Rail and Pacific National Coal.</p><p>“The structure in place over the past two years was extremely effective to drve out costs and deliver efficiencies,” Rowsthorn said.</p><p>“The next stage is to create synergies by integrating these enhanced businesses. The coal business will remain a standalone business to ensure there is continued focus on the significant growth opportunities in this area.”</p><p>Asciano said the outlook for the year ahead remains positive.</p><p>&nbsp</p>