Network Rail pre-tax profits halve to £506m, down from 1.04bn this time last year.

Network Rail felt moved to include a “Q&A” in its final results statement to explain the massive drop. The not-for-profit company that runs Britain’s railway lines, attributes the fall to the rail regulator’s decision to reduce its income by £246m this year. Network Rail stressed this had no effect on railway investment, and revenue for the year ended 31 March fell to £6.08bn from £6.3bn a year earlier.

The company has been in prominent in the news recently, due to rail strike threats strikes and and chaos caused by overrunning engineering works. Patrick Butcher, finance director at Network Rail, said: “With more than a million more trains on the network than 10 years ago, there are inevitable challenges. We are determined to do more to improve and action is being taken to quicken the pace of change.”

By Miranda Wadham