Transnet revenue shows 11% increase

Transnet has reported an 11% increase in revenue to R24.9-billion, due to increased rail volumes. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Transnet has reported an 11% increase in revenue to R24.9-billion, due to increased rail volumes. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

In its results for the six months ending September 30, Transnet rail volumes were up 7.5%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation increased 7.1% to R10.1-billion.

Capital expenditure increased 34.5% to R12.8-billion. Cash generated from operations, after working capital changes, increased 18.1% to R9.8-billion.

"This was driven by better collections and inflows due to improved working capital management, among others," Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe said.

Operating expenses for the period went up 13.9% to R14.8-billion. "The primary contributory factors for this increase related to both material and personnel costs. This included wages, as a result of a rise in the number of employees, as well as increased energy costs," Molefe said.

At Transnet freight rail, the company's biggest operating division, volumes continued to grow, with those in the automotive and container section up 19%. The manganese and iron ore unit volumes grew 11.2% to 31.7-million tonnes, achieving record-breaking weekly performances along the way.

Molefe attributed the success to Transnet's capital investment programme and improved operational efficiencies.

Coal volumes increased 7.8% to 41.6-million tonnes, compared with 38.6-million tonnes in the same period last year. "The coal line's performance was also driven by improved efficiency gains due to the deployment of new locomotives and scheduled infrastructure maintenance."

At the ports, container and automotive volumes were slightly lower and flat respectively, in line with the slowdown in economic growth. Average moves per gross crane hour (GCH), the key measure of productivity at container terminals, improved to 28.4GCH at the Durban container terminal's Pier Two, from 19.6GCH in the previous period.

The Richard's Bay Dry Bulk Terminal's loading rate increased 3.8% from 691 tonnes an hour to 717 tonnes an hour. The company recorded an unprecedented 34.5% increase in capital expenditure to R12.8-billion.

Molefe said Transnet was planning to build a dug-out port at the old Durban International airport site to accommodate rising cargo-handling demand.

During the period under review, Transnet raised R14.7-billion through various funding sources, including the global medium-term note programme, the African Development Bank, domestic bonds, and commercial paper. – Sapa

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