Australia's Asciano FY profit up 41 pct;sees slower growth for 2014
SYDNEY Aug 21 (Reuters) - Australian rail and ports operator Asciano Ltd reported a 41 percent rise in 2013 full-year net profit on Wednesday, driven by a strong performance in its coal haulage business, but said it expected slower growth in 2014.
The company, which transports coal from mine to port in Australia's east coast, said it expected further growth in its coal and port services for 2014, but warned of the impact of a weak domestic economy.
"The ongoing weakness in domestic economic activity is expected to result in subdued volume growth in Terminals and Logistics and Intermodal Rail," it said in a statement.
Net profit rose to A$340.0 million ($308.7 million) for the year ending June 30, from A$240.8 million a year ago.
Underlying net profit before one-off items rose to A$348.1 million, slightly short of the average analysts forecast of A$352 million, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data.
Bigger rival Aurizon Holdings Ltd reported a 16 percent rise in underlying net profit on Monday.
Asciano, which has been redeveloping the Port Botany facilities in the state of New South Wales, reaffirmed that the redevelopment would lead to a one-off A$14 million charge for the 2014 financial year.
Asciano's shares have risen 12 percent so far this year, ahead of a 9 percent gain for the broader market, closing at A$5.23 on Tuesday. ($1 = 1.1013 Australian dollars) (Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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