Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Port Operation Suffers Losses - Rail Freight Brighter

Asciano - Stevedoring Write Downs Damage Bottom Line
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – The Asciano Group have published a net loss of close to a billion Australian dollars after devaluing assets of its Patrick port operations by a roughly equivalent amount as it warned some months ago. After coming in for fierce criticism last year from the Sydney Ports Corporation, the News South Wales authorities subsequently awarded the stevedoring contract at the new Port Botany terminal to Hutchison.

Patrick operates from four of the country’s main ports and the write down tripled losses from the same period last year. The bright side for Asciano is that they have probably now swept away the debris and can look forward to a rise in fortunes from now on. The battle with QR continues unabated for the lucrative coal carriage contracts which have performed strongly for the group.

Total revenue for all operations rose around 2% to A$2.8 billion and it seems that Asciano are pinning their hopes on the predicted rise in fortunes for all the bulk trades including the agricultural, ore and coal sectors with a company spokesperson making it plain they did not foresee a similar short term future for their freight forwarding operations. The company statement said they were more than happy with the overall results and described it as ‘a year of strong business growth’. Asciano will not pay a dividend and shares fell slightly before recovering.