Significant improvement in VR Group's operating profit

06.03.2014 14:07 Press releases
  • Comparable turnover grew by 6.3%
  • Operating profit EUR 70.6 (52.4) million
  • Marketing and price campaigns in Passenger Services helped to boost turnover
  • VR Transpoint increased its operating profit and market share
  • VR Track was profitable

– VR Group's 2013 result was good. All business units were profitable. According to Mikael Aro, VR Group's President and CEO, the improved performance shows that the extensive reforms and efficiency improvements carried out within the Group are bringing results.

The year 2013 was marked by major investments in the VR Group. Paying for the investments requires sufficiently profitable business operations and higher overall efficiency within the Group.

VR Group started extensive measures to improve profitability during the year. Through the more efficient organisation of work and by generating savings based on the large number of staff members planning to retire in the next few years, the Group will be able to reduce its personnel costs by EUR 40 million per year, which will amount to about eight per cent by 2016. Within the next few years, a total of 1,700 people will retire from the VR Group and, to replace them, the Group will recruit about 1,000 new employees. During the year, an average of 10,234 persons worked for the VR Group.

Successful year

VR Group's comparable turnover grew from 2012 and there was substantial improvement in the operating profit. Passenger Services, Logistics and Infrastructure Engineering all posted higher operating profits.
The Group’s turnover in 2013 totalled EUR 1,421.2 million (EUR 1,437.8 million in 2012). The sale of groupage operations in October makes it harder to compare the figure with 2012. Comparable turnover increased by 6.3 per cent from 2012.

The Group's operating profit was EUR 70.6 (52.4) million and the net profit for the financial year amounted to EUR 65.3 (38.8) million. The net profit for the financial year includes profit on the sale of assets, which had a net impact of EUR 19.0 million (EUR 36.0 million) on the operating profit. The profit on operations, excluding the one-time items, improved from 2012 mainly thanks to the efficiency measures.

The good performance in 2013 will result in bonuses being paid to the personnel fund and to the management and experts, as laid out in the VR Group’s bonus scheme. The financial statements contain a bonus provision of EUR 10.8 million. The bonus scheme covers a total of 780 experts, supervisors and managers. The personnel fund has a total of 9,940 members.

Special offer campaigns helped to boost the turnover of passenger services

Turnover for passenger services grew during the year in review. Successful marketing and special offer campaigns, which helped the VR Group improve its market share, particularly in long-distance services, contributed to the growth.

The full year turnover was EUR 568.0 (548.2) million. Turnover increased by 3.6 per cent during the year, including a 3.3 per cent growth for rail services and an 8.6 per cent growth for bus and coach services. The operating profit was EUR 33.2 (24.8) million.

A total of 98.4 million trips were made in 2013, amounting to an increase of 3.0 per cent in comparison with the previous year. Trips made by rail remained at the previous year's levels: long-distance trips totalled 13.6 million and commuter trips 55.8 million. A total of 29.1 million trips were made on buses and coaches in 2013, amounting to an increase of 11.1 per cent in comparison with the previous year.

Rail logistics increased its market share

The turnover for Logistics was EUR 441.9 (544.2) million, representing an 18.8 per cent drop from the year 2012. The drop in turnover was a result of the selling of the groupage business to Itella in 2012. Comparable turnover was at the previous year's levels.

The operating profit for logistics amounted to EUR 13.0 (29.3) million. The profit on the sale of the groupage business is included in the operating profit for the previous year.

The total transport volume decreased by 1.2 per cent from the previous year and amounted to 42.1 million tonnes. Total Rail Logistics volume amounted to 36.4 million tonnes, which was 3.3 per cent more than in the previous year. The market share of Rail Logistics reached 26.5 per cent in 2012, and the increase in total volume means that the market share continued to grow in 2013.

Domestic services remained more or less at the previous year's levels, while services over Finland's eastern border increased by about 20 per cent. The increase in domestic and eastern services was the result of higher transport volumes and new customers.

Turnover for Rail Logistics increased by 1.0 per cent, but in road services it fell by 48.9 per cent compared to the previous year. The decline resulted from the sale of the groupage business in 2012. Comparable turnover for road traffic fell by 4.6 per cent from the previous year.

VR Track was profitable

There was strong growth in the turnover for Infrastructure Engineering, a result of a full order book. Turnover was EUR 340.3 (273.9) million, an increase of 24.2 per cent from the year 2012. The growth was particularly strong in the construction business. The order book for the Swedish operations grew substantially during the year and the company won a large number of new track construction and maintenance contracts.

The operating profit for Infrastructure Engineering amounted to EUR 8.3 (-5.7) million.

The engineering business had an excellent order book during the year in review. In the construction field, work was started on a number of new projects in early summer, such as superstructure work at the Ring Rail Line in Havukoski, superstructure work between Ylivieska and Kilpua, and alterations at the Vihanti traffic operating point.

In April, VR Track began the maintenance of tracks and safety equipment in the Uusimaa region under a new five-year contract. During the year in review, the company moved a total of 15 bridges in different parts of the Finnish rail network.

Investments

The Group’s total capital expenditure in 2013 amounted to EUR 185.2 (106.5) million. Most of the investments, EUR 84.0 (50.0) million, were made in rolling stock. The largest real estate investment was the new depot in Oulu (EUR 31.4 million). The Group’s liquidity remained good throughout the year.
The financial statements and the Group’s Annual Report will be published on the VR Group's website in March.

See VR Group's annual report 2013

Related to: VR Group

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