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MONTREAL, April 26, 2016 /CNW/ - Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI), said today 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 here.

Once an industry laggard based largely in Canada, CN today is the clear North American rail industry leader. Following five successful acquisitions, the company now efficiently spans 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.

Mongeau said core financial measures attest to CN's superior record of efficiency, profitability and shareholder value-creation since the IPO:

  • The railway's operating ratio – a key measure of efficiency – 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.

  • From an initial value of C$2 billion in 1995, CN's market capitalization has increased several fold to stand at C$63 billion currently. Close to C$70 billion of capital gains and dividend distributions have been generated since the IPO for the benefit of loyal investors who rely on CN for the effective stewardship of their stock ownership.

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. CN's uniquely successful business transformation unlocked significant and lasting value for all stakeholders involved, and it serves to underscore the importance of a vibrant commercial policy framework staying in place for the North American rail industry.

"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."

CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America. CN – Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries – serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information about CN, visit the Company's website at


Media: Mark Hallman, Director, Communications & Public Affairs, (905) 669-3384; Investment Community: Sam Forgione, Vice-President, Investor Relations, (514) 399-0052