The company's operating ratio for North American and European operations improved 1.3 percentage points to 78.3% during the quarter, GWI noted, despite a falloff in coal traffic.
GWI CEO and President Jack Hellmann commented, "Our financial results for the first quarter of 2012 were consistent with our expectations. While revenues increased 8% to $207 million, our net income was unchanged for three main reasons: the expiration of the U.S. short line tax credit; weak coal shipments in the United States; and a 60-day outage on a portion of our main line in Australia due to the washout of our Edith River Bridge. For our North American & European Operations, despite a 20% drop in coal revenues, our first quarter revenues still increased 9% and our operating income increased 16%."
"As we look ahead to the remainder of 2012, we expect improving business trends," Hellman said. "In North America, our non-coal traffic continues to grow and our newly acquired Arizona Eastern Railway and Hilton & Albany Railroad are performing well. Although our U.S. coal traffic is weak, primarily due to warm winter weather and low natural gas prices, we expect some improvement in the second quarter as shipments resume at two power plants."