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Rail News: Financials

Genesee & Wyoming reports revenue, income gains

Despite the weak U.S. housing and paper markets and a drought in Australia, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) boosted revenue and income in the fourth quarter.

Registering revenue gains in nine of 11 commodity groups, the company increased operating revenue 14.3 percent to $134.5 million compared with fourth-quarter 2006's total. Freight revenue rose 9.3 percent even though carload volume dropped 5.6 percent primarily because of a 15.8 percent increase in average freight revenue per carload. Non-freight revenue jumped 23.1 percent year over year.

In addition, GWI's quarterly operating income increased 20.3 percent to $22.5 million and operating ratio improved 0.8 points to 83.3 compared with fourth-quarter 2006 levels.

"Particularly noteworthy was the increase in our coal shipments, increased exports moving through our port railroads and higher revenues per carload," said GWI Chief Executive Officer John Hellmann in a prepared statement. "This revenue strength combined with effective cost controls resulted in a 20 percent increase in our fourth-quarter operating income."

For the full year, income from continuing operations totaled $69.2 million compared with $172.6 million in 2006, when GWI posted an after-tax net gain of $114.5 million from the sale of the Australian Railroad Group. Operating revenue rose 15 percent to $516 million and the company's operating ratio improved 0.7 points to 81.2.

GWI owns and operates 48 regionals and short lines in the United States, Canada and Australia, and owns a minority interest in a Bolivian railroad.

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