The Jungfrau Railway Group recorded a profit of 30.9 million francs in 2016, thus achieving the second best result in its history. At today's financial press conference in Berne, statements will be made on the preceding financial year.
In a challenging financial year, the Jungfrau Railway Group achieved an operating income in 2016 of 169 million francs. Despite a decline of minus 3.7 per cent as compared with the record perfor-mance of the previous year, it registered the second highest turnover in its history.
Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe Although the environment was challenging, the second best result in the history of the Jungfrau Railway was achieved, both in terms of visitor numbers and transport income. The terrorist attacks in Europe, unrest in Turkey and the refugee situation had a noticeable impact on the number of visi-tors, especially group tours from Asia. Nevertheless, a total of 916,500 visitors travelled to the Top of Europe in 2016. Transport income for the Jungfraujoch segment declined by 7.6 per cent, at CHF 100.3 million, compared with the record performance of the previous year. In spite of this, the 100 million mark was surpassed for the second time ever. A profit of 1.7 per cent was achieved for the average yield.
Mountain Experience In the case of the Mountain Experience, which includes excursion transport to Harder Kulm, First and Winteregg-Mürren, the Jungfrau Railway Group registered consistently positive results. With an increase of 16.8 per cent in total, transport income could once again be significantly increased. Overall, at 13.3 million francs, a transport income of nearly two million more than in the previous year was generated for the Mountain Experience. The average income was increased both for Firstbahn, at 10.6 per cent, and Harderbahn, at 10.1 per cent.
Winter Sports The result dropped below average for the Winter Sports segment. Transport income declined by 10.9 per cent to 19.6 million francs. This corresponds to a loss of CHF 2.4 million compared with 2015. Despite favourable slope conditions, a decrease in visitor numbers was recorded, for both day and holiday guests. Thanks to the early onset of winter, the Jungfrau Railways was able to start the 2016/2017 winter sports season by the middle of November 2016. Efficient snow machines allowed a consistent offer and good slope conditions in the Kleine Scheidegg Ski Region, despite the continuous high-pressure weather in December.
*Other segments include, in particular, the Jungfraubahn power station, Jungfraubahnen Management AG and the Lauterbrunnen car park.
Investments The Jungfrau Railway Group invested 50 million francs in the reporting year. The majority of this was used for the procurement of new rolling stock for the Jungfrau Railway as part of the V-Cableway project. By the end of 2016, over 100 million francs were spent on the V-Cableway pro-ject since the start of planning, in which the Jungfrau Railway Group wants to invest a total of 300 million francs. It was recently possible to include already pending and important concerns in the V-Cableway project from the area of railway operational safety as well as the adjustment of existing facilities to the requirements of the Austrian Equal Treatment Act. This explains the greater part of the increase in the overall project costs by nearly 20% as compared with the previous year's reporting.
Outlook The 2017 financial year began well in the Jungfraujoch segment. From 1 January to 15 April 2017 161,153 guests visited the Top of Europe, meaning that the former record year of 2015 was surpassed. Compared with the same period in the previous year, an increase of 33,121 guests, respec-tively 25.9 per cent could be recorded.
The Winter Sports business continued to decline from the start of the season in December 2016 to 17 April 2017. Shortly before the end of the season, there were 868,968 skiing visitors for the entire Jungfrau Ski Region as of 17 April 2017, 8.1% fewer than in the 2015/2016 Winter Sports season. The Jungfrau Railway Group's main strategic project is still the V-Cableway, which will strengthen the competitiveness of Jungfraujoch as a world famous hotspot, as well as the Jungfrau Ski Re-gion. The aim – if everything runs smoothly – is to open the "Eiger Express" tricable gondola by the end of 2019. In the medium term, the Jungfrau Railway Group is following the strategy of developing in the direction of an integrated leisure and service company. In the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe business segment, the catering will be gradually integrated by the end of 2019 with the inde-pendent restaurant companies on Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch. This constitutes a central component in the value chain of tourist excursions.
The Jungfrau Railway Group General Meeting will take place in Interlaken on 22 May 2017. The management board proposes an increase in the dividend from 2.00 to 2.10 francs.