Australia's Aurizon upgrades coal haulage outlook for fiscal 2013-2014

Melbourne (Platts)--17 Feb 2014 312 am EST/812 GMT

Australian rail freight company Aurizon Monday raised its guidance for its coal haulage volume in the 12 months to June 30 this year to 207-212 million mt, from 200-205 million mt previously.

Despite severe weather impacting coal export operations in Queensland for several days in January, the Brisbane-based company said strong coal haulage volumes seen over July-December had continued into January and February.

Aurizon estimated that the suspension of shipments from the Abbot Point terminal in Queensland ahead of a cyclone resulted in the loss of around 1.5 million mt of coal exports.

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The company hauled 109.7 million mt of thermal and metallurgical coal in the July-December half, up 13% year on year, and 15 million mt of iron ore, up 15% over the same period.

Aurizon said it remained confident in the "long-term drivers of global demand for Australian resources, including coal and iron ore, based on continuing urbanisation and industrialisation of Asian economies."

It reported underlying earnings before interest and tax of A$423 million ($383 million) for the half year ended December 31, up 19% on A$356 million for the corresponding period in 2012.

--Paul Bartholomew,
--Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy,

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