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CP reports revenue increase after 'one of the most challenging winters'

The Canadian Pacific railyard is pictured in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

Despite what the company’s chief executive called “one of the most challenging winters” of his career, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. saw revenues jump six per cent to $1.77 billion in the first quarter of 2019.

Revenues increased from $1.66 billion to $1.77 billion in the three month period ending March 31, the company reported after markets closed on Tuesday. Net income also increased from $348 million last year to $434 million in 2019.

The quarter was marred by a fatal derailment near Field, B.C. in February that killed three CP railroaders.

“As you could imagine, as a leader, there can never be a worse call to receive than the one I received to notify me of that tragic accident,” CP’s chief executive Keith Creel said on a conference call with analysts Tuesday.

“It’s heartbreaking for immediate family members as well as the CP family members. Rest assured, our CP family members will forever be remembered and honoured.”

Harsh weather conditions also hampered the company’s performance in the quarter.

“Beyond the loss of lives that happened in a very busy part of our network, in very challenging conditions, this incident led into what became one of the toughest months in my railroading experience, as well as the company’s.”

CP’s intermodal business and grain businesses led freight revenues, bringing in $380 million each. Energy, chemicals and plastics also saw a revenue jump in the first quarter, from $257 million last year to $315 million in 2019.

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