April 24, 2013 / 11:44 AM / 5 years ago

CP Railway profit rises on higher freight revenue

(Reuters) - Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO) reported a 53 percent increase in first-quarter profit as freight revenue rose and the company improved its operating efficiency.

Canada’s No. 2 rail carrier said net income rose to C$217 million ($212 million), or C$1.24 per share, from C$142 million, or 82 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 9 percent to C$1.50 billion.

Calgary-based CP said its operating ratio, which measures productivity by tallying how much revenue is needed to maintain operations -- the lower the percentage, the better -- improved to 75.8 percent from 80.1 percent a year earlier.

CP is targeting a mid-60 percent operating ratio by 2016.

The company’s bigger Canadian rival, Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO), said on Tuesday it sees a sustainable mid- to low-60s in terms of operating ratio.

    Canadian National, Canada’s largest rail operator, reported lower quarterly profit this week as it took a big winter weather hit.

    Shares of Calgary-based CP closed at C$126.23 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

    ($1 = 1.0260 Canadian dollars)

    Reporting by Susan Taylor in Toronto and Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane

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