Network Rail trains are late, but profits are up

Although its performance on the tracks may not be quite up to scratch, Network Rail put in a strong financial performance last year, as its profits jumped by 8 per cent.

A week after the regulator condemned Network Rail for its "unacceptable" levels of late and cancelled train services, the operator and manager of tracks, bridges, tunnels, signalling and some stations reported a £471m pre-tax profit for the year to 31 March. Revenues rose 5 per cent to £6bn, while operating costs fell 5 per cent to £2.34bn.

The government-backed group reported a substantial, £2.2bn increase in its net debts for the year to £27.3bn over the year. It put much of the rise down to new infrastructure projects.