AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Ore expansion to drive ARG rail growth in 2005, says co-owner

<p>The Australian Railroad Group (ARG) has overcome diesel price increases and train driver shortages to post a 37.3% increase in net income for 2004.</p> <p>ARG’s co-owner Genesee &#38 Wyoming Inc (GWI) reported that the operator’s returns of US$14.2m (GWI’s share) reflected record grain tonnages and good growth in ore and minerals traffic.</p> <p>Driver shortages affected ARG figures in the fourth quarter of last year when the company was forced to pay higher contract driver rates.</p> <p>It also absorbed a 49.8% increase in the price of diesel fuel, GWI said.</p> <p>"Against a backdrop of high fuel prices and locomotive driver shortages for most of the year, this was a reasonably good outcomes for ARG," GWI chairman Mortimer B Fuller III said.</p> <p>"Although we will be shipping a weaker grain harvest in 2005, we are focused on the strong fundamentals of our non-grain business and will be investing to support its growth."</p> <p>GWI is predicting more traffic growth late in 2005 and in to 2006 based on major expansion plans of three major iron ore customers and an alumina producer.</p> <br />