|A CN train travelling along the|
Skeena River, CN released its
report on 2017 operations on Tuesday
(photo from CN media files)
The dividend increase which works out to forty five and a half cents per common share and will be paid out on March 29th, was just one item in a string of notes related to the railway's performance over the last year delivered by CN officials as part of their review of 2017 on Tuesday.
“CN grew faster than the economy and delivered strong financial results in 2017. This performance supports our long-running ability to reward shareholders with consistent dividend growth.” -- CN Executive Vice-President and CFO Ghislain Houle
Also revealed at the Montreal news conference that outlined the railway's financials was an expansive capital investment program for 2018, which will see the railroad put a focus on key capacity projects and put further investment into infrastructure maintenance, designed to build on safety and efficiency for railroad operations.
Among the investments will be 1.6 billion on track and railway infrastructure, including the replacement of 2.1 million rail ties and more than 600 miles of rail, as well as work on bridges and general track maintenance.
The Railway will be receiving the first deliveries from a three year contract order which will see 60 new GE locomotives join the rolling stock.
|CN will be making major investments on a number of infrastructure|
projects along its Canadian and American lines in 2018
CN also plans to continue on with its double tracking and siding extension programs across Western Canada as part of their focus on the Chicago corridor from Prince Rupert through to the American Midwest.
They will also improve intermodal equipment and infrastructure in Toronto, Memphis, Joliet and other terminals.
In addition to the infrastructure investments, CN indicated it plans to continue to move forward with its program of installing it's positive Train Control process in its operations in the United States, dedicating 400 million dollars towards that initiative.
Luc Jobin, CN President and CEO observed that the strong financial report for the railway reflects continued confidence in the North American economy and indicates the railway's ability to meet changing market demands.
“CN’s growth continues to outpace the economy,”... “With our 2018 capital program and ongoing hiring, we are focused on meeting the needs of our customers. We have confidence in the North American economy and in our ability to help our customers grow their businesses.”
"Throughout the year we faced rapidly changing market demands and in the fourth quarter dealt with challenging operating conditions, including harsh early winter weather across the network, impacting our performance.
"We remain focused on operational efficiency and providing quality service to our customers," "In 2018 we are adding new train crews and increasing our capital program to a record C$3.2 billion as we invest in locomotives and build additional capacity for resiliency."
The investment for 2018 is an increase of $500 million compared to that which the company invested in the year previous.
The Fourth quarter review included notes on the increase of container traffic through the Ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
|The Fourth Quarter notes from CN Rail released January 23rd|
(click to enlarge)
The overview of the report from Wednesday can be reviewed here.
A wider report on the Fourth Quarter and full year financial results can be examined here.
More items of interest related to CN's operations across Northwestern British Columbia can be found on our archive page.