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August 06, 2009

RZD first-half results not quite as bad as forecast

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RUSSIAN Railways (RZD) has announced its results for the first half of 2009. Freight traffic - at 1055 billion tonne-km - was 3.3% higher than forecast, even though actual volume was down almost 25% at 572 million tonnes.

Freight transport revenue did not decline as steeply as traffic, as it fell 13% to Roubles 369.5 billion ($US 11.9 billion). RZD says freight revenue has been steadily increasing, and at a rate higher than the increase in tariffs. The government regulated freight tariffs during the first quarter of 2009, and introduced step-by-step indexation of tariffs in place of a blanket rate of 14%. RZD will be compensated during the second half of the year for any losses resulting from government regulation of tariffs.
Long-distance passenger traffic fell by 8.6% during the first half of 2009 to 45.4 million journeys, although this is 1.8% higher than expected. RZD has reduced fares by up to 40% to stimulate traffic during the summer.

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