Aurizon, the country’s largest rail freight operator, will reward shareholders with a $100 million boost to a share buyback after lifting its underlying first half net profit by a hefty 19 per cent to $269 million.
The company, which transports a range of bulk commodities including coal, benefited from new contracts and operating efficiencies during the half.
Aurizon’s $269 million underlying net profit was comfortably ahead of market consensus, which according to Bloomberg was for a $256.3 million result.
Chief executive Andrew Harding said the company had delivered a “solid operational and financial performance during the half and re-confirms EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) guidance of $880 million – $930 million for FY2020. Ongoing improvements in operational efficiency, including
targeted investments in technology, are core to our continuing performance.”