Business News

Railways in the Black in First Two Months

Ljubljana, 22 March (STA) - The Slovenian railway operator started the year 2011 on a positive note, increasing operating revenues, reducing operating loss and generating a net profit in January and February.

In the first two months operating revenues increased by 15.4% year-on-year to EUR 60m, chairman of Slovenske zeleznice Goran Brankovic told reporters in Ljubljana on Tuesday,

Revenues in freight transport rose by 31.2% and revenues in passenger transport by 4% in that period.

The company reduced operating loss from EUR 4.6m in the first two months of last year to EUR 418,000 in the same period this year, turning last year's net loss of EUR 5.7m into a net profit of EUR 212,000.

Brankovic noted that those were the first estimates for the first two months, but that the two-month profit was expected to be even higher. Positive trends are also being recorded in March.

Brankovic is upbeat about the current operating results because they augur well for this year's goal, which is to halve the operating loss to EUR 4.9m or even break even.

Last year the railways halved operating loss to EUR 10.9m, recording a net loss of nearly EUR 20m. The figures were above the plans, which Brankovic attributed to better operations in the freight division.

The company carried 17 million tonnes of goods, which is 2.5 million tonnes more than the year before. Head of the freight division Milan Jelenc says the goal is to transport 20m tonnes of goods a year.

The figure could be attained in 2014 or 2015, when the freight division is expected to break even. Last year this segment generated a loss of EUR 14.3m.

Jelenc expects the division to end in the red this year as well, unless it manages to substantially increase revenues and manage costs well.

The passenger transport division generated a net loss of EUR 433,000 in 2010 with operating profit standing at nearly EUR 2m. The goal for the year is to increase passenger numbers by 3% to 16.8 million.

The infrastructure division operated in the black in 2010, generating a net profit of EUR 5.4m and over EUR 3m in operating profit. New growth is planned for this year.

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