AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Toll delivers record profit and predicts another to come

<p>Toll Holdings delivered a record profit of $168.6m to June 30 yesterday (Thursday, August 26), driven by consistently strong performances across all major areas of the company.</p> <p>The increase was 59% on last year’s figures.</p> <p>Toll chairman Paul Little said the outlook is strong, with the company on target to deliver another record profit for the current year.</p> <p>"The company is positioned well for excellent ongoing cashflow and earnings growth and expects to post another record performance in the 2005 financial year," he said.</p> <p>Pacific National, Toll’s 50%-owned rail operation, contributed after tax earnings of $41.8m, up 47.8% on last year.</p> <p>The outlook is strong for Pacific National and its acquisition of Victorian-based bulk rail operator Freight Australia is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks following regulatory approval.</p> <p>The Pacific National growth last year was attributed to higher coal and intermodal volumes and ongoing cost reductions.</p> <p>The acquisition of New Zealand’s Tranz Rail last December had given performance in line with expectations, and it contributed revenue of $415m.</p> <p>Toll North delivered revenue growth of 11.2% to total $540.1m driven by the consolidation of resource sector activities and new warehousing and distribution contracts.</p> <p>Toll North’s gross earnings of $27.6m could have been higher if QRX, its Queensland Rail forwarding business, had not suffered from rail linehaul rate increases that Queensland Rail imposed. </p> <p>The company’s logistics division recorded a strong performance, with revenue up 19% to $1.14bn.</p> <p>The result was underpinned by a solid performance by the retail and automotive sector and Toll Shipping.</p> <p>Toll Shipping’s Bass Strait operations performed solidly as both its vessels returned to service after a scheduled overhaul and lengthening for additional capacity. </p> <p>Toll overcame the impact of rising fuel costs through the effective implementation of the fuel surcharge.</p> <br />