April 23, 2015

ÖBB reports strong results for 2014

Written by  Erwin Reidinger
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ÖBB reports strong results for 2014 Erwin Reidinger

AUSTRIAN Federal Railways (ÖBB) CEO Mr Christian Kern and CFO Mr Josef Halbmayr presented the company's annual results at Vienna's new Main Station on April 17, revealing that the railway maintained its recent strong financial performance in 2014.

Ebit increased from €755m to €864m, while total revenue rose slightly from €6.25bn to €6.36bn. Expenditure dropped slightly from €5.493bn to €5.491bn. Pre-tax profits increased by 68% from €103m in 2013 to €172m last year.

Passenger traffic grew fractionally from 234 million to 235 million, although this increase is attributed entirely to local and regional services, primarily in the provinces of Carinthia and Vorarlberg, where there have been significant improvements in services. This implies that other regions have not performed as well, although ÖBB refused to give details.

Long-distance passenger figures remained stable at 34 million passengers. This is in contrast to the performance of Westbahn, ÖBB's open-access competitor on the key Vienna – Linz – Salzburg route, which reported increasing passenger numbers last year.

Rail Cargo Austria achieved pre-tax profits of €58.9m, despite a fall in revenue from €2.28bn to €2.07bn. ÖBB says that the restructuring of RCA is now complete and that no further decline in revenue is anticipated.

Freight volumes in Austria showed a slight increase from 83.4 to 83.6 million tonnes, while in Hungary Rail Cargo Hungaria also achieved growth with volumes rising from 32.5 to 32.7 million. Overall freight volumes including all international activities rose from 109.3 to 110.1 million tonnes.

ÖBB Infrastructure reported an increase in traffic on the Austrian network from 142.8 to 145.1 million train-km. While passenger traffic rose from 95.6 to 96.8 million train-km, freight grew from 39.7 to 41.1 million train-km, which is mostly attributed to gains by open-access operators. ÖBB Infrastructure EBIT rose from €606m to €635m.

ÖBB says these results have been achieved despite the difficult economic situation and increasing competition. Kern says ÖBB is preparing for competition for public service contracts, which is expected to become mandatory under the Fourth Railway Package. RCA faces further competition and plans to optimise the economies of its business in a stagnant European market.

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