CN reports Q3 revenue down 11%

Canadian National Railway (CN) reported revenue for the third quarter at $C 3.41bn ($US 2.59bn), a drop of 11%, compared with the same period in 2019.

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The decrease in revenues was mainly due to lower volumes across most commodity groups caused by the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lower applicable fuel surcharge rates, partly offset by freight rate increases as well as increased shipments of Canadian grain. 


The company said there is solid operating momentum in Q3, suggesting a pivoting to recovery as they are bringing back resources in a methodical way while continuing to push on efficiencies. It will also continue to focus on permanent cost take-out initiatives. 


CN also stated there is a volume recovery in certain market underway with significant shift in business mix in Q3 2020. It expects a V-shaped recovery supported by ports business, lumber and automotive divisions.


There has also been profitable growth in key markets such as in grain where it has seen 7 consecutive months of record export Canadian grain movement with potential for record crop; lumber/panels performed well due to improvement in home renovation activities and increased residential construction; there has been steady demand for thermal and metallurgical coal in Canadian coal; propane export volumes via Prince Rupert remain strong; international intermodal is also expected to make a V-shaped recovery at the ports and had a strong fall peak season; and finally, the domestic intermodal recorded growth in grocery and the temperature-controlled supply chain.

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