Revenue for the first half of the financial year was $NZ 364.4m, down 5.5% year-on-year while Ebitda fell 22% to $NZ 27.3m for the six month period. The underlying operating surplus dropped to $NZ 33m, compared with $NZ 35.1m for the same period in 2014.

CEO Mr Peter Reidy cites "challenging market and weather conditions for two of our bulk freight commodities, coal and milk" for the fall in revenues. However, this was partially offset by strong passenger growth from its Cook Strait Interislander ferry services, which grew by 6%, and long distance passenger services, where revenues increased by 8%. In addition KiwiRail axed 200 positions over the six months as part of a plan to cut annual operating costs by $NZ 20m to $NZ 30m.

KiwiRail chairman, Mr John Spencer, says underlying full-year results are expected to be "within the forecast range" while Reidy says KiwiRail is working hard to re-shape the business to deliver the state-owned railway company's financial and sustainability targets.

"This will enable us to grow intermodal freight strategies with our customers and the New Zealand Transport Agency to bring integrated transport benefits that will enable export and tourism growth for New Zealand."