Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe
In 2015, for the first time, over 1 million visitors travelled to Europe’s highest-altitude railway station. The millionth guest arrived on the Jungfraujoch on 30 December 2015. Excursion traffic to the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe continued to benefit from the rising demand from Asia during the year under review. In 2015, 1,007,000 persons visited the Jungfraujoch; the best result in its history. With a traffic income of CHF 107.6 million, the 100 million franc mark was exceeded for the first time, an increase of 14.1 percent. The Jungfrau Railways strategy of intensively cultivating the Asian market and further strengthening the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe brand has clearly paid off.
The result for the Jungfrau Ski Region from the beginning of 2015 to the end of the season in spring 2015 fell below average. Despite good snow conditions, a drop in numbers was recorded for day-visitors as well as holiday guests. Because of constant warm temperatures and little snow, the Jungfrau Ski Region had a difficult start to the 2015/2016 winter season, similar to the previous year. Nevertheless, thanks to powerful snowmaking equipment, from the beginning of December it was possible for Jungfrau Railways to open many of its facilities in certain parts of the Kleine Scheidegg and First areas and offer good skiing conditions. The Jungfrau Ski Region is a cooperative product in which the Jungfrau Railway Group holds more than a 60% share. In 2015, with 971,000 skier visits, fewer than one million skier visits were recorded for the second time in a row. Traffic revenue fell by CHF 0.6 million to CHF 21.6 million in the winter sports segment, a minus of 2.5 per cent.
In the experience mountains business segment, which comprises excursion traffic to the Harder Kulm, First and Winteregg-Mürren, the Jungfrau Railway Group recorded overall good results. The Harder Railway increased its traffic income from 1 January to 31 December 2015 by 24 per cent. The First Aerial Cableway recorded an increase of 7.7 per cent. The Lauterbrunnen-Mürren Rail and Cableway achieved a growth in traffic income of 8.9 per cent. Overall, the experience mountains segment achieved traffic revenue of 11.2 million. The increase of 12.1 per cent on the previous year represents a record.
Prospects for 2016
Despite the difficult situation caused by a number of group cancellations after the attacks in Paris and the introduction of biometric visas for visitors from China, only 2,947 fewer guests to the Top of Europe were recorded up to 15 February 2016. This represents a reduction of 6.3 per cent. As expected, the 2015/2016 winter sports business season is feeling the effect of the low euro rate.
The diversification and the continuing intensive cultivation of the Asian markets fill Jungfrau Railways with confidence with regard to summer business. From mid-May 2016, individual seat reservations will be introduced on the Kleine Scheidegg-Jungfraujoch section, thus increasing quality for Jungfraujoch guests. At the same time, the evening timetable will be extended. To combat the downward trend in winter sports and the difficult exchange rate situation, Jungfrau Railways are focusing on a continued increase in quality. The planned V-Cableway project will considerably reduce travel times and created facilities in line with international standards. The aim is to put the cableways into operation in 2018/2019.
<media 23543>Letter to Shareholders 2016</media>