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Aurizon does a deal on debt as its profits shrug off effects of virus

Business

Aurizon has refinanced $1.3 billion in debt, adding an extra $420 million to its previous level, and signaled that the Queensland coal industry remained buoyant throughout the COVID-19 shutdown.

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The company confirmed its profits for the year. It’s earnings before interest and tax has been forecast at between $880 million and $930 million. Volumes are expected to between 210 million tonnes and 220 million tonnes.

Managing director Andrew Harding said the there had been only minimal disruptions across its business from COVID-19.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has had some impact to coal demand in Asia and on the Indian sub-continent, it has not been material to date to volumes and the company’s earnings,” Harding said.

“I am proud of the outstanding efforts of our employees during this challenging time.

“As an essential transport provider to the Australian economy we have provided safe, reliable services to our customers and continued to support regional communities where our people work and live.”

The new debt deal will mean the Brisbane-based rail and logistics company will have about $1.1 billion in liquidity and does not have any further refinancing commitments until 2023.

Its existing debt will be repaid and cancelled under the deal.

Aurizon’s acting chief financial officer George Lippiatt said the refinancing was well supported by the banks and included an extra two lenders.

“Our commitment to a long-term funding strategy of diversifying sources and lengthening of tenors remains,” Lippiatt said.

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