Same railroad average freight revenues per carload increased 20.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the fourth quarter of 2011. Same railroad average freight revenues per carload were impacted by three factors: a change in the mix of commodities, the appreciation of foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar and higher fuel surcharges, which increased same railroad average freight revenues per carload by 8.6%, 1.4% and 0.5%, respectively. Excluding these factors, same railroad average freight revenues per carload increased 9.6%. In addition to higher freight rates, same railroad average freight revenues per carload were positively impacted by changes in the mix of customers, primarily within the metallic ores and other commodities groups.
GWI’s same railroad non-freight revenues in the fourth quarter of 2012 were $61.4 million, compared with same railroad non-freight revenues in the fourth quarter of 2011 of $61.6 million. Excluding a $0.3 million increase from the net impact of foreign currency appreciation, GWI’s same railroad non-freight revenues decreased by $0.5 million, or 0.8%, primarily due to a $4.1 million decrease in third-party fuel sales resulting from GWI’s sale of its third party fuel operation in South Australia in the third quarter of 2012, partially offset by a $1.7 million increase in railcar switching and a $1.0 million increase in other income.
GWI's operating income in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $33.7 million, compared with $45.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. GWI’s operating ratio in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 85.2%, compared with an operating ratio of 78.4% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Operating income in the fourth quarter of 2012 included $24.0 million of RailAmerica-related expenses, primarily associated with closing costs and severance benefits, a $1.1 million contract termination payment in Australia associated with outsourced maintenance of way activities and other business/corporate development costs of $0.5 million, partially offset by $1.4 million of gains on insurance recoveries and the sale of assets. In the fourth quarter of 2011, operating income benefited $3.0 million from the net gain on the sale of assets, partially offset by Edith River derailment costs of $1.8 million and business/corporate development costs of $0.8 million. Excluding these items, GWI’s adjusted operating income increased $12.8 million, or 28.3%, to $57.8 million. GWI’s adjusted operating ratio improved 4.0 percentage points to 74.6% in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with 78.6% in the fourth quarter of 2011 (2).
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