Grain traffic and grain revenue barely budged in an otherwise much livelier year for traffic on Canadian Pacific Railway’s (CP) track.
Releasing its 2010 and fourth-quarter (Q4) results Wednesday, Calgary-based CP reported full-year profits of $650.7 million on $4.982 billion in total revenues, up from $550 million on $4.402 billion in 2009.
CP saw a “significant increase in volumes” during 2010, with “strong demand for rail service across all lines of business,” CEO Fred Green said in the company’s release.
The company handled a total of 2.66 million carloads during the year, up 12.6 per cent from 2009 levels, with revenue per carload of $1,824, up 0.7 per cent.
The company’s revenue from grain freight, however, slipped slightly to $1.136 billion for the year, down just 0.1 per cent from 2009 levels.
Grain carloads were down 0.7 per cent, at 466,400, for revenue per carload of $2,435, up just 0.5 per cent.
CP’s traffic in sulphur and fertilizers, meanwhile, improved substantially, bringing in revenues of $474.8 million for 2010, up 53.5 per cent from 2009. Carloads were up 63 per cent at 177,200, for a 5.8 per cent decrease in revenue per carload to $2,679, still highest among CP’s business segments.
CP’s Q4 ending Dec. 31 saw “double-digit revenue growth, a continuation of our year-to-date trend,” Green said. Percentage-wise, CP’s sulfur and fertilizer freight saw the greatest increase.
Grain revenue in Q4, however, was up 2.1 per cent from the year-earlier period, at $299.8 million on 117,400 carloads (down 3.1 per cent), for revenue per carload of $2,554 (up 5.4 per cent).
Sulphur and fertilizer revenue in Q4, meanwhile, was up 55.1 per cent at $132 million on 47,900 carloads (up 50.2 per cent), for a 3.3 per cent increase in revenue per carload to $2.756.
The “irregular pace” of economic recovery from the global recession has affected CP’s 2010 financial results, the company cautioned Wednesday, in such a way that seasonal fluctuations “may not be consistent with those in prior years.”