MONTREAL, Que.– Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN, said at a meeting this week that the company has made huge strides since its 1995 initial public share offering (IPO), transforming itself into a North American railway and true backbone of the economy.
“CN’s journey since its IPO is the story of a remarkable and uniquely successful business transformation,” Mongeau told the company’s annual meeting of shareholders.
Once an industry laggard based largely in Canada, CN nowspans eight Canadian provinces and 16 U.S. states, transporting more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually over a 20,000-route-mile network that reaches all three coasts on the continent, the company said.
Mongeau said core financial measures attest to CN’s record of efficiency, profitability and shareholder value-creation since the IPO:
The railway’s operating ratio in 2015 improved to a record 58.2 per cent from 89.4 per cent in 1994, the year before privatization, and has consistently been the best in the industry since 1998.
CN has generated almost 20 per cent average annual growth in adjusted diluted earnings per share since becoming a publicly-traded company.
The privatization of CN 20 years ago was a pivotal policy decision by the Canadian government that gave impetus to a wave of broadly positive change and fundamental innovation, Mongeau said.
“We are extremely proud of our transformational journey,” Mongeau said. “Today we touch just about every sector of the economy, serving thousands of valued customers with high quality and reliable service at world-class freight rates. With the right policy framework in place, we will continue to fulfill the extraordinary promise of CN’s business transformation with significant investments in our business and bold customer service innovation.”