AusRAIL, Market Sectors

QR hits record earnings on back of coal industry boom

<p>Record earnings in haulage for Queensland’s coal industry have driven Queensland Rail to a solid result for 2004&#4705.</p> <p>After tabling QR’s annual report in State Parliament today (Monday, November 14), transport minister Paul Lucas said the continuing positive outlook for the coal industry had encouraged QR to embark on a vigorous infrastructure investment program.</p> <p>QR achieved a profit before tax of $287.4m on the back of record earnings from the booming coal market, Mr Lucas said.</p> <p>"This result was achieved despite a significant increase in energy and fuel costs, which went up 20.6% or $19.1m over the year," he said.</p> <p>QR established a new coal haulage record of 156.3m tonnes last financial year, 12.8m tonnes more than the previous year. </p> <p>Mr Lucas said the outlook for the coal market was buoyant, with a forecast growth of 30% in Queensland over the next five years. </p> <p>With QR successfully retaining coal haulage contracts, and this part of its business growing strongly, the forecast growth in the coal market had encouraged QR to invest in additional coal-carrying capacity.</p> <br />