QR National Ltd (QRN), Australia’s biggest coal hauler, has announced net profit of AU$ 278 million in the six months ending December 2010, compared to a loss of AU$ 132 million last year. There are concerns, however, that heavy rain and flooding in the country since then will affect the company’s H1 2011 profits. "Record rainfall across the central Queensland coal systems in the second quarter significantly affected coal volumes and impacted the half year. Devastating floods followed in January," said chief executive Lance Hockridge. "[The company’s] focus has been on swift action and working closely with customers to maximise railings of available coal."
QRN hauls around 200 million tpa of coal, which accounts for about 20% of the global coal trade. The company is also responsible for 90% of coal haulage in Queensland’s Bowen Basin region, which produces about two-thirds of the global trade in hard coking coal used for steelmaking. Its biggest customers include BHP Billiton, Peabody Energy and Rio Tinto. The Government of Queensland privatised QRN in November for AU$ 4.6 billion.
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