Earthquake doesn‘t diminish strong KiwiRail result

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 28, 2017

KiwiRail has come through the seven months following Kaikoura‘s devastating earthquake with a $52 million surplus despite a $40 million revenue and cost impact from the earthquake and its aftermath.

Chairman Trevor Janes said before the earthquake took out major South Island services on the Main North Line (MNL), KiwiRail had been anticipating a record season for its passenger and freight businesses.

“This is a strong financial result for KiwiRail in a challenging year. Our recovery from these events is set to continue in the next 12 months, particularly now that freight is soon to be running again on the MNL between Picton and Christchurch, albeit in limited capacity.”

KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy says the earthquake had widespread revenue and cost impacts as freight flows around New Zealand changed, along with the effects on passenger services on the Interislander ferries and rail tourism journeys.

The $40 million impact is made up predominantly of domestic freight revenue loss as the MNL closed, plus some effect from falls in bulk freight such as steel and gas. Passenger volumes on the Interislander also took a hit as tourists avoided road travel to Christchurch, and the Coastal Pacific tourism service was cancelled. Included in the financial result is the purchase of the Kaitaki ferry from Irish Ferries in May.

Reidy says he is pleased with the efficiencies, productivity gains and operational performance improvements that KiwiRail has implemented over the past three years, enabling smart investment and allowing its customers to grow.

“Over the next 12 months we will invest where growth is most needed for our import/export and domestic freight forwarders while driving a strategy of renewal for our ageing rolling stock fleet to ensure further reliability and capacity for customers.”