Outlook for the current year
VR expects that comparable operating profit (EBIT) for 2023 will improve compared to 2022.
The general economic situation in Finland is clouded by the weakened business cycle in the industrial sector, high inflation, rising interest rates, and low consumer confidence in the economy. Industrial order books and export volumes have also shrunk, as global demand has declined. The economic situation is significantly reflected in VR’s business operations, profitability, and near-term outlook. In particular, both high inflation and the weakened business cycle in heavy industry have a negative impact on VR’s profitability.
VR discontinued its Eastern freight traffic completely in 2022 due to Russia’s war of aggression . This discontinuation will reduce total volumes of rail logistics again for 2023. In addition, the weakened business cycle in heavy industry in Finland has reduced transport volumes since the second quarter of the year. VR expects domestic-transport volumes to decrease in 2023 compared to the previous year.
Train travel has recovered since the Covid-19 pandemic eased. Nevertheless, the pandemic has changed the way people work and, as a result, their mobility patterns. Remote work has become increasingly common and transport demand has been driven by leisure travel. The total number of long-distance journeys is expected to increase from the previous year. These increases mainly take place in the early part of the year, as the pandemic reduced travel volumes in early 2022 in particular. In city traffic in Sweden, net sales and profitability will decline compared to 2022 due to some existing agreements expiring and new agreements not starting until late 2023.