Posted 25th November 2010 | No Comments

Higher profits for Network Rail, but debt rises too

NETWORK Rail has announced pre-tax profits of £299 million in the six months to September, up from £146 million in the same period a year earlier.

But its debt also rose by £200 million, and the company's finance director has admitted that it still has ‘a long way to go’.

Network Rail is committed to reducing its costs substantially, having come under pressure not only from the Office of Rail Regulation but also more recently from Sir Roy McNulty, whose ‘value for money’ investigation for the Department for Transport is believed to be paying critical attention to how the company spends its money.

Costs came down by almost £200 million in six months, while the number of employees was reduced by 1,100.

Over £1.7 billion was invested, and net debt increased by 0.6 per cent, from £23.8bn to £24 billion.

Group finance director Patrick Butcher said: “Delivering a safe, punctual, bigger and better railway will continue to be our focus but of increasing importance is the task of reducing the cost of our railway. We have made progress with almost £200 million of real savings over the past six months, but there is a long way to go to deliver an affordable, value for money railway for passengers and taxpayers.”