Asciano container volumes slump

Asciano CEO is disappointed in the company’s share price and has warned of a slump in container volumes

Asciano container volumes slump
Asciano container volumes slump

16, 2012

John Mullen has expressed disappointment in the company’s share price,
while warning of a slump in container volumes.

Investors were told at
the rail and port operator's annual meeting in Sydney yesterday of a marginal decline of 0.8 per cent in container lifts in the company’s terminals and logistics division for the quarter.

"Container lifts were down marginally on last year for the quarter, reflecting the weak market growth of 1.6 percent during the quarter," Mullen says.

"On top of flat market growth, activity during the period was also impacted by the cancellation of a number of shipping services and a three-day weather shut down at Port Botany that had flow on impacts to other ports."

According to Asciano’s quarterly volume update, import volumes were also weaker.

But despite
weak container volumes, Mullen says the company is in good shape, which has not been reflected in its share price.

"We do remain disappointed that our share price has not reflected the improvements in performance being made by the company," Mullen says.

"This is as frustrating to us as I am sure it is to shareholders, but all we can do in such an environment is to continue to deliver on our shareholder return targets and ultimately the value being created will surely have to flow through to appreciation in our share price as well."

Asciano’s share price is at $4.29, down about six per cent for the year and down more than 80 per cent from 2007.

Mullen told investors Asciano’s Pacific National rail and coal divisions were also facing soft demand.

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