The company also reported diluted earnings per share of $1.46, compared with diluted EPS of 52 cents in the first quarter of 2012. G&W's operating ratio was 76.7%, adjusted primarily to exclude integration costs associated with the company's acquisition of RailAmerica, Inc.
Revenue increased 80.9% to $375.2 million, the company said, also due in large measure to G&W's acquisition of RailAmerica, Inc., but same-railroad operating revenue also did well, rising 7.6% compared with a year ago.
G&W President and CEO Jack Hellmann said, "The first quarter of 2013 was the first full reporting period in which G&W's consolidated results included the former RailAmerica railroads. We moved quickly to integrate the new operations and are pleased to report financial results in-line with our acquisition plan. Despite revenue weakness from Canadian winter wheat exports and certain North American steel shipments, we managed our operating costs well and reported an adjusted operating ratio of 76.7%, 230 basis points better than last year."
"In Australia, shipments of iron ore from a new mine continued to grow, a trend that we expect to be further supported by the expansion of our existing narrow gauge iron ore service starting in the second quarter of 2013. In the United States, we experienced higher lumber and forest products shipments due to a stronger U.S. housing market as well as significant growth in crude-by-rail shipments on both the West Coast and the Gulf Coast. With the integration of RailAmerica operations now largely complete, we are focused on new commercial development, further reducing the expenses of the combined company, as well as carefully evaluating several new investment opportunities."
On Tuesday, during a roundtable session at the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) meeting in Atlanta, Hellman noted the company had relocated its headquarters from Greenwich, Conn., to Darien, Conn. Hellman said the move was prompted by "a need for more space" to accommodate the company's growth. The company said Jacksonville, Fla., operations headquarters and Rochester, N.Y. administrative offices remain the same.