Network Rail debt rises to £27bn


The net debt of rail infrastructure company Network Rail (NR) has soared, figures out today showed.

NR's net debt rose from just under £25.05 billion in 2010/11 to £27.28 billion in 2011/12, the company announced.

NR, which is a not-for-dividend company and has no shareholders, has its debt guaranteed by the Government.

The company's profit after tax rose from £313 million in 2010/11 to £754 million in 2011/12 while operating profit increased from just under £2.03 billion in 2010/11 to just under £2.34 billion in 2011/12.

Revenue in the last financial year was just over £6 billion compared with £5.71 billion in 2010/11 while capital expenditure rose from just under £4 billion in 2010/11 to £4.6 billion in 2011/12.

The company said that its actual and projected financial performance over the period 2009 to 2014 had meant it had been able to return £153 million in the last two years to the Scottish and UK parliaments.

The company also announced its staff numbers in 2011/12 fell slightly to 35,253, although average salaries rose by 2.2%.

In 2011/12, a total of 91.6% of passenger trains ran on time compared with 90.9% in 2010/11. NR has been warned by the Office of Rail Regulation to improve its trains-on-time performance on long-distance services or face a heavy fine.

NR group finance director Patrick Butcher said: "Our results today demonstrate clear and steady progress in meeting our efficiency targets. These targets are tough but we are committed to succeeding.

"In a year where NR has maintained financial discipline, we have continued to deliver a larger capital programme, building the capacity of the railway of tomorrow.

"At the same time NR has shown it is open to change and reform - with the aim of delivering greater accountability and better value and service for our customers and funders."