CN, CP book higher grain revenues in Q1

A bump in gross revenue from grain handling helped to improve first-quarter results for both of Canada’s big two railways.

Canadian National Railway (CN) on Monday reported overall net income of $704 million on $3.098 billion in revenue for the quarter ending March 31, up from $623 million on $2.693 billion in the year-earlier period.

Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) on Tuesday reported a record-high $320 million in overall net income on $1.665 billion in revenue for the same period, up from $254 million on $1.509 billion in the year-earlier Q1.

Montreal-based CN credited the effects of a weaker Canadian dollar on its U.S.-dollar-denominated revenues; higher freight rates; and higher volumes in Canadian grain and potash, among other sectors — offset partly by lower demand for coal.

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Plus, CN CEO Claude Mongeau said Monday, the bottom line was “helped in part by easier winter conditions compared with last year’s polar vortex.”

In its combined grain and fertilizer segment, CN reported gross Q1 revenue of $535 million (up 24 per cent from the previous Q1) on 154,000 carloads (up 10 per cent), for revenue per carload of $3,474 (up 13 per cent).

Calgary-based CP, meanwhile, reported Canadian grain revenue of $256 million (up 16 per cent) on 61,000 carloads (down two per cent), for revenue per carload of $4,214, up 18 per cent.

CP also booked higher revenue per carload compared to the previous Q1 in its U.S. grain segment ($3,408, up 26 per cent), its potash segment ($3,028, up four per cent) and its fertilizers and sulphur segment ($4,268, up 21 per cent). CP’s U.S. grain handle for the quarter was up three per cent at 40,000 carloads.

“Amid persistent uncertainty in the pace of the North American economic recovery, CP continues to demonstrate the ability to recognize and capitalize on new business opportunities and operational efficiencies,” CEO Hunter Harrison said in Tuesday’s release.

CP’s only market segment reporting lower revenue per carload was automotive, down eight per cent at $2,692.– AGCanada.com Network

 

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