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Canadian National’s Profit Climbs 8%

January 22nd, 2013

Canadian National Railway today reported its income in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $610 million (about US$613.8 million), increasing 3% from $595.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Revenue in the fourth quarter increased by 7% year-over-year to $2.5 billion. Revenues increased by 15% for coal, 13% for petroleum and chemicals, 11% for grain and fertilizers, 7% for intermodal and 5% for automotive. Revenues declined by 2% for forest products and 1% for metals and minerals.

Carloadings for the quarter rose 3% to 1.3 million, and revenue ton-miles increased by 8% from the fourth quarter of 2011. Rail freight revenue per revenue ton-mile declined by 1%.

For the full year of 2012, profit was $2.7 billion, up 8% from $2.5 billion in 2011.

Revenue increased by 10% to $10.0 billion, with all business units registering gains. Petroleum and chemicals increased by 15%, coal by 15%, metals and minerals by 13%, intermodal by 11%, automotive by 11%, forest products by 5% and grain and fertilizers by 4%.

“In 2012, we experienced strong growth in commodities related to oil and gas, particularly crude oil, and saw continued market share gains in overseas and domestic intermodal,” said Claude Mongeau, president and CEO, in a written statement. “CN also benefited from strong coal and petroleum coke exports, increased wheat and soybean exports, as well as higher lumber and panels shipments to the United States.”

The rise in total revenues was largely attributable to higher freight volumes, due in part to growth in North American and Asian economies; the company’s performance above market conditions in a number of segments; and increased volumes in the second quarter as a result of a labor disruption at competitor Canadian Pacific, freight rate increases, the impact of a higher fuel surcharge as a result of year-over-year increases in applicable fuel prices and higher volumes and the positive translation impact of the weaker Canadian dollar on U.S. dollar-denominated revenues.

Carloadings for the year increased 4% to 5.1 million. Revenue ton-miles increased by 7% from 2011, while rail freight revenue per revenue ton-mile increased by 3%.

The fourth quarter and 2012 revenue, carloads and revenue ton-miles were records for the company.

“For 2013, CN anticipates continued gradual improvement in the economy and further growth opportunities in intermodal, energy and other resource markets,” Mongeau said.

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