August 21, 2012 / 11:02 PM / 5 years ago

Australia's Asciano year profit up 19 pct

MELBOURNE, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Australian rail and ports operator Asciano Ltd reported a 19 percent rise in full-year profit, spurred by rapid growth in its coal rail business.

The company, which vies against QR National to transport coal, said it expects "another solid year of growth" based on new contracts but did not give a specific forecast.

Net profit rose to A$240.8 million ($252. 9 million) for the year to June f rom a restated A $2 01.6 million due to accounting changes.

Earnings before interest and tax jumped 14 percent to A$616.7 million, topping analysts' forecasts around A$608 million, acc ording to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For 2013, analysts are expecting a net profit of A$329 million, driven by new contracts in the coal transport arm and a pick-up in its ports business, where it was hit by industrial action last year.

Asciano's shares have been flat so far this year, underperforming an 8 percent rise in the broader market. ($1 = 0.9523 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by John Mair)

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