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Rail News: Financials

CPR increases revenue and income, lowers operating ratio during Ritchie's last full quarter as CEO

The Rob Ritchie era is closing on a high note. During the first quarter — Ritchie’s last full quarter as chief executive officer before he retires in May — Canadian Pacific Railway increased revenue 10 percent to $976.5 million, boosted net income 38 percent to $97.5 million and improved its operating ratio 3 points to 79.4 compared with first-quarter 2005.

Quarterly freight revenue registered double-digit growth in four of CPR’s seven business lines, with grain up 28 percent, industrial and consumer products up 13 percent, and intermodal and automotive up 12 percent each.

Quarterly operating expenses of $774.2 million rose 6 percent but would have gone up only 1 percent if the Class I’s fuel costs hadn’t increased 17 percent. In addition, compensation and benefits costs rose 6 percent compared with first-quarter 2005.

“Our Execution Excellence strategy has delivered an outstanding first quarter,” said Ritchie in a prepared statement “[And] our operations team has done an excellent job delivering improved fluidity, with average train speed increasing 17 percent, yard processing time decreasing a full 32 percent and car velocity up 15 percent over the same period last year.”

For the remainder of 2006, CPR officials expect revenue to increase between 5 percent and 8 percent, expenses to go up between 3 percent and 6 percent, and capital investments to fall between $810 million and $825 million.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/25/2006