VR profits rise despite falling international rail traffic

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Photo: VRR.

Finish state-owned rail operator VR has recorded a rise in operating profit despite a sharp fall in international traffic between Russia and Ukraine.

Although operating profit on passenger services increased to €4.9 million in the second quarter of 2014, passenger rail traffic fell by 1.4 per cent overall, with international services between Helsinki and St Petersburg impacted severely by the current confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, and a weakening of the Russian rouble.

VR’s Allegro service, which is operated by Alstom Pendolinos, saw passenger volumes fall by 14.4 per cent over the same period last year despite a fall in average ticket prices.

VR Group reported net sales of €343 million, down 2.1 per cent on 2013. Operating profit, however, rose substantially from €3.6 million in 2013 to €18.4 million this year.

Rail freight figures also improved, with VR transporting 7.6 per cent more cargo thanks to growth in the metal and chemical industries, according to VR.

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