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Annual profit was €287m, up 47% from €195m in 2018, while net profit was €215m, up 85% from €116m in 2018. NS says this strong improvement was generated from activities in The Netherlands.
Domestic operating turnover rose by 6% to €2.66bn, up from €2.5bn in 2018, based on a 3.7% growth in passenger-km, the highest increase since 2008.
Growth was primarily in the Randstad area (6.4%), and on the Amersfoort – Deventer (10.7%), Arnhem – Utrecht (8.2%), Venlo – Eindhoven (7.4%) and Groningen – Zwolle (5%) lines.
NS revealed it paid around €2bn in track access charges and fees under its concession, which gave NS exclusive right to operate on the core network between 2015 and 2019.
Turnover from station development and operation declined by €45m to €547m, due to the transfer of various retail companies, following the necessary restructuring imposed by the Dutch minister of finance after the Limburg tendering irregularities and performance problems.
At the end of 2019, NS had €818m cash available against in €755m financial obligations. NS declared itself debt free and expects to be able to cover planned investment until 2024.
Passenger journeys increased from 1.1 million in 2015 to 1.3 million in 2019.
NS says it has met all requirements in the 2015-2025 concession awarded by the Dutch government, which will result in a €6m bonus from the Ministry of Infrastructure.
NS’ international subsidiary Abellio recorded turnover of €3.45bn in 2019, up from €2.82bn in 2018, including €2.9bn from Britain and €534m from Germany. Abellio’s profit decreased from €62m in 2018 to €29m in 2019. Net profit in 2019 was €4m, down from €23m in 2018.
Abellio’s operation in Germany became problematic with a loss of €32.8m, following a loss of €1.4m in 2018.
In Britain, turnover grew by 18.9%, of which 10.4% was autonomous growth generated mostly through the Greater Anglia, ScotRail, and West Midlands franchises, along with the start of the East Midlands franchise in August 2019. Abellio UK had a profit of €81.6m, with a net profit of €30.8m, up from €16m in 2018.
NS has launched a new strategy, “The Netherlands, sustainable access for everyone”, which it says will be tailored to allow more flexible travel options.
“The ‘flexible traveller’ does not see himself as a motorist, train traveller or cyclist, but chooses the transport depending on the time and destination,” says NS CEO, Mr Roger van Boxtel. “To do this, we must remove the barriers between the various modes of private, shared and public transport as much as possible, in cooperation with the entire mobility sector. As a traveller, you get the widest possible range where travel on an international, national, regional and metropolitan level merge seamlessly.”
Under the new strategy, NS has announced that fares for passengers aged between 12 and 18 years old will be reduced considerably. This includes offering a €7.50 day ticket or a monthly weekend ticket for €15.
NS has increased its investment budget for the 2015-2025 concession to €6bn.
The post NS records strong profit growth in 2019 appeared first on International Railway Journal.
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