CPR’s Q2 grain handle, grain revenue rise

A rise in both revenue and carloads in Canadian Pacific Railway’s grain sector helped offset a drop in overall freight revenue for the company’s second quarter (Q2).

CPR on Thursday posted net income of $157.3 million on $1.02 billion in total revenues in its Q2 ending June 30, up slightly from a profit of $154.7 million on a much higher $1.22 billion in revenue in the year-earlier period.

The impact on CPR’s net income from the drop in freight volumes was offset by a net gain after tax from the sale of a portion of CPR’s interest in the Detroit River Tunnel Partnership, worth $69 million, the company said.

CPR also saw its total Q2 fuel bill drop by more than half, to $117.7 million.

“The recession continues to have a significant impact on our business and although freight volumes appear to have stabilized, we have not yet seen a sustained recovery in traffic,” CPR CEO Fred Green said in Thursday’s release.

The railway also posted a technical uptick in revenue as it’s now fully consolidated the results from the Dakota, Minnesota + Eastern Railroad (DM+E), which it bought in October 2007.

CPR’s lower freight revenues overall weren’t for lack of grain traffic, as the company posted $272.7 million in grain revenue for the quarter, up from $228 million in the year-earlier period.

That revenue comes from a total handle of about 119,300 carloads of grain (up from 110,200), for per-carload revenue of $2,286 (up from $2,069).

CPR’s revenue in its fertilizer and sulphur sector, meanwhile, was down substantially in its Q2 at $65 million, compared to $140.7 million in the year-earlier period.

The railway moved about 22,300 carloads of sulphur and fertilizer in Q2, well down from 54,800 in the year-earlier period. Freight revenue per carload for that sector, however, was up at $2,915, compared to $2,568 in the year-earlier Q2.

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