Grain handle helps lift CN quarterly revenue

(Photo courtesy CN)

An increase in Canadian grain traffic helped support Canadian National Railway’s third-quarter revenues, though the costs of increased traffic ate at its bottom line.

Montreal-based CN on Tuesday reported net income of $958 million on total revenues of $3.221 billion for the quarter ending Sept. 30, down from $972 million on $3.014 billion in the year-earlier period.

CN CEO Luc Jobin credited the increase in revenue to “increased demand across key business segments such as frac sand, intermodal, coal and Canadian grain.”

Revenue also saw support from freight rate increases and higher fuel surcharge rates, though operating expenses rose 10 per cent to $1.762 billion, mainly on “higher costs from increased volumes and higher fuel prices,” the company said.

CN, in its Q3 report, didn’t break out any figures for Canadian versus U.S. grain traffic in its grain and fertilizers business segment, which saw about 145,000 total carloads in Q3, down from 150,000 in the year-earlier period.

The railway, in its grain and fertilizers segment, booked revenue of $492 million for the quarter, down from $497 million, for rail freight revenue per carload of $3,393, up from $3,313.

Jobin said CN is “increasing investments in our infrastructure and equipment by $100 million, for a total capital program of $2.7 billion in 2017,” and has been “hiring across our network, particularly in Western Canada.” — Network


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