VR Group is focusing on services
5. March 2012 News and current issues
VR Group put much effort last year into developing its services. Development projects and higher costs were visible aspects of this. The Group’s net result weakened from the previous year.
“We are building VR Group into a modern service company, and this can be seen in terms of several development projects and higher costs. We are using the Group’s funds above all to develop services and we are working to improve customer satisfaction. We have divested some of our international operations and aim now to concentrate on our main business in Finland,” states President and CEO Mikael Aro .
The Group’s net result was poor in 2011. The Group’s operating profit was M€ 20.9 (43.1) and the profit for the period was M€ 15.3 (30.0).
Net turnover amounted to M€ 1,437.2, a 1.0 % increase on the previous year. The Group’s financial position remained strong. “We have a very challenging year behind us, and the net result was just half the previous year’s figure. The instability in the overall economic climate affected the logistics business in particular, and demand fell off in the second half of the year,” says Mikael Aro.
“We expect 2012 to be a clearly better year than 2011. The renewal of passenger service tickets has started to have a visible effect, with an increase in the number of passengers and in ticket sales. Customer satisfaction is improving. Infrastructure Engineering has boosted its competitive standing. The outlook for logistics remains uncertain, however,” states Mikael Aro.
Popularity of Allegro continues The Group’s Passenger Services recorded moderate growth in 2011. The number of rail journeys declined 0.9 %. Traffic to and from Russia increased 28.1 % and between Helsinki and St. Petersburg 48.6 %. The increase was mainly due to the Allegro trains.
Growth in bus services was 4.9 %, which was due to the new service routes won in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Passenger Services had an operating profit of M€ 10.5. VR Group’s Logistics business declined 0.9 % from the previous year. Rail carryings declined 2.7 % as the volume of international carryings fell. In contrast, carryings by road logistics rose 7.1 %.
Logistics recorded an operating loss of M€ 15.1, and the operating loss of rail logistics accounted for M€ 10.8 of this. VR Track’s net turnover fell 4.9 % due to the overall decline in the volume of infrastructure engineering. In 2010 net turnover fell 15.2 %.
Infrastructure Engineering’s operating profit fell to a loss of M€ 10.5 despite the remedial action taken. VR Group’s investments totalled M€ 151.0 (149.8). The biggest investments were in rail rolling stock, totalling M€ 91.1.