'Tough': No bonus for CEO after workers cut in profit drop

AURIZON has claimed a record tonnage of coal to Gladstone, Mackay and Bowen Ports on its most important railway network.

But it hasn't saved the rail giant from recording an 88% drop in profits to $72million as the company slashed 600 jobs in the last year and reduced spending on maintenance.

The company's annual reports, released yesterday, showed record tonnage on the Moura, Blackwater, Goonyella and Newlands lines, known as Central Queensland Coal Network.

Despite losing 600 jobs in the last year Aurizon hasn't been able to improve on its profits from 2015 and there are plans for a further 300 to go. PIC: Contributed
Despite losing 600 jobs in the last year Aurizon hasn't been able to improve on its profits from 2015 and there are plans for a further 300 to go. PIC: Contributed Contributed

Board chairman Tim Poole said the other railway lines were down on volumes and "the tough environment for our customers impacted earnings".

The price of coal has dropped by 25% in the past five years, which has seen Cockatoo Coal Mine at Baralaba go into administration and the world's biggest privately owned coal-mining company, Peabody, which has mines in the Bowen Basin, record a $2.7billion loss in 2015.

The low prices have seen an increase in production from the mining companies, to counteract the low margins, driving Aurizon's record 255.9million tonnes of coal over the region's four lines.

CQCN contributed $1.177million to the company's balance sheet, up from $1.106million the year before.

The company also slashed repairs and maintenance by almost 25% on the year before. An extra cost was the increase in redundancies, costing $2.1million, up from from $1.5million.

There were 600 jobs cut last year, increasing the cost of redundancies to $2.1million from $1.5million.

And it won't be the last lot of redundancies as Aurizon flagged a further 300 positions identified to be "streamlined".

The tightening of the purse also hit the executive team, with chief executive officer Lance Hockridge and those who report to him missing out on a cash bonus for the first time since 2010.

Last year he was given a cash bonus of $1.16million.

Mr Hockridge's fixed salary was $1.95million and, combined with the rest of the board the executive's salary, was equal to 7.25% of the company's total profit for the financial year.


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