The rail assets that cost taxpayers' $690 million last year are now valued at just $349 million.
This was disclosed by the Treasury today in the Government's financial statements for the ten months to April 30.
The then Labour-led government made the acquisition of Toll New Zealand's rail and Cook Strait ferry operations, paying in cash on July 1, 2008. Treasury says the business, now known as KiwiRail, had almost halved in value by April. An unaudited assessment of the fair value of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed through the deal was put at $349 million.
When the deal was announced in May last year, Toll NZ's Australian parent, Toll Holdings, said its book value for the assets sold to the Governemnt was $430 million.
In the ten months to April, KiwiRail earned $562 million of revenue and recorded an operating surplus of $4 million.
Meanwhile, Treasury said an estimated net cost of $25.7 million had been taken to cover guarantees provided to two failed finance companies - Mascot Finance and Strata Finance - under the Crown Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
Treasury said the likelihood that any further guarantees would be called was "not considered probable" at this time. Therefore no additional provision had been made in the financial statements.