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Decent FY 18 results with FY 19 outlook: Aurizon Holdings Ltd.’s (ASX: AZJ) stock rose 1.25% on August 13, 2018, before market close as the group delivered 6% growth in Underlying Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) to $941 million on the back of increased coal volumes and transformation outcomes achieved during the financial year 2018. The company has reported Statutory Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) of $560 million in FY 18, up from the Net Loss After Tax of $37 million in FY2017, which is mainly due to the one-off significant impairments incurred in FY2017.

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Moreover, AZJ has declared a final dividend of 13.1 cents per share, which is a 47% rise compared to the final dividend last year and represents 100% of underlying NPAT for continuing operations. However, the final dividend will be 60% franked. Therefore, the full year dividend has increased 20% to 27.1 cents per share. Further, AZJ has completed its $300 million share buyback during the second half of the FY 18. Additionally, the total group capital expenditure for FY 18 was down by 8% to $490 million. Overall, AZJ has achieved its three-year transformation target by delivering $133.6 million in transformation outcomes. On the other hand, AVJ for FY 19 expects Underlying EBIT for the rail businesses to be in the range of $390 – 430 million (excluding redundancy costs) compared to $460 million this year. The fall is majorly due to an estimated $50 million impact from two iron ore haulage contracts finishing in Western Australia. AZJ expects FY 19 rail coal haulage to be in the range of 215-225 million tonnes per annum. The company has provided projection for its above rail business for FY19, that includes the Coal and Bulk businesses as well as the ‘Other’ segment. This is due to the unknown outcome for the UT5 Access Undertaking and transitional tariffs only being in place, at this stage, through to December 2018.

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FY 18 Financial Performance (Source: Company Reports)

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