Aurizon has been locked in a bitter battle with the Queensland Competition Authority. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
Aurizon has been locked in a bitter battle with the Queensland Competition Authority. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Reason for rail giant’s profit slump

RAIL giant Aurizon has reported a 19 per cent slump in interim profit amid a battle with the competition watchdog over how much it can earn from its coal hauling railway in Queensland.

Aurizon announced to the ASX this morning that net profit was $227 million in the six months to the end of December 31.

Underlying profit dropped 16 per cent to $406 million and revenue slipped 7 per cent to $1.45 billion during the period.

Aurizon has been locked in a bitter fight with the Queensland Competition Authority over maximum allowable returns on its central Queensland rail network that hauls coal to export ports in the region.

Aurizon claims a decision by the QCA could punch a billion-dollar hole in its bottom line. Aurizon managing director Andrew Harding said the company had made the decision to book revenue based on QCA's final decision.

Mr Harding said coal shipments also had been impacted by weather and industrial action.