47.8 million Swiss francs profit for Jungfrau Railway Group

The Jungfrau Railway Group recorded a profit of 47.8 million Swiss francs in 2018, the best result in its history. The Board of Directors has proposed to the AGM a dividend increase of 16.7 per cent. At today's financial press conference in Berne, statements will be made on the preceding financial year.

The Jungfrau Railway Group can look back on a strong financial year of 2018. It generated an operating income of 212.8 million Swiss francs. This represents an increase of 9.8 per cent on the previous year. For the first time, sales exceeded the 200-million-franc mark.

The Jungfrau Railway Group also recorded a record high in terms of its most important source of income – transport revenue. At CHF 153.8 million, this was 7,0 per cent higher than the previous year. Compared to 2017, the EBIT margin increased by 1.2 per cent to 28.6 per cent. The return on sales was 22.5 per cent. The financial year 2018 saw a profit of 47.8 million Swiss francs.

Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe.
Intensive market development – above all in Asia – as well as the diversification of markets paid off in the excursion traffic to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe. The best results in the history of the Jungfrau Railway were achieved, both in terms of visitor numbers and transport income. With 1,067,000 visitors in 2018, the one million guest mark was exceeded for the third time at Jungfraujoch. Net transport income in the Jungfraujoch segment amounted to 111.8 million Swiss francs, exceeding the previous year by 4.3 per cent. The average yield per guest increased by 2 Swiss francs.

Experience Mountains
All railways of the Experience Mountains segment outperformed the previous year and achieved record results. Net transport income increased significantly by 4.3 million Swiss francs year-on-year. For the Experience Mountains overall, transport income increased by 27 per cent to 20.2 million Swiss francs.

Winter Sports
In Winter Sports, from the beginning of 2018 until the end of the season in the spring of 2018, an increase in net transport was achieved, but at a low level. Due to the persistently warm temperatures and lack of snow, the start of the winter sports season 2018/2019 proved challenging. The Jungfrau Ski Region is a co-operation in which the Jungfrau Railway Group holds more than 60%. In 2018, 987,000 new entries were recorded throughout the Jungfrau Ski Region. The winter sports segment registered a net transport income of CHF 22.1 million. This represents an increase of 6.8 per cent on 2017. However, income is still below the successful winter sports season of 2007/2008.

Segment information

CHF (thousands)

2018

2017

Change in %

Segment sales

 

 

 

Net sales Jungfraujoch

139,216

128,699

8.2%

Net sales Experience Mountains

27,428

21,963

24.9%

Net sales Winter Sports

28,051

26,114

7.4%

Net sales Other segments*

50,130

45,982

9.0%

Elimination Group-internal sales

-32,010

-28,988

10.4%

Total operating income

212,815

193,770

9.8%

*Other segments include, in particular, the Jungfraubahn power station, Jungfraubahnen Management AG and the Lauterbrunnen car park.

Investments
The Jungfrau Railway Group invested 63,6 million francs in the reporting year. The focus of investment was the V-Cableway. In 2018, 40.8 million Swiss francs were invested in the Eiger Glacier, Eigerexpress, car park and terminal sub-projects. From the beginning of planning until the end of 2018, the total expenditure for the generation project amounted to 160 million Swiss francs. Overall, the Jungfrau Railway Group is planning to invest 320 million Swiss francs.

Other investments included the purchase of a neighbouring property from First Railway for the strategic securing of access, the rebuilding of the track system in Wengen according to the Disability Discrimination Act (BehiG) and the project launch for the renewal of the Lauterbrunnen-Mürren mountain railway.

Key figures of the consolidated financial statements

CHF (thousands)

2018

2017

Change in %

Operating income

212,815

193,770

9.8%

Transport income

153,833

143,799

7.0%

EBIT

60,969

53,038

15.0%

Annual profit

47,826

41,601

15.0%

Free cash flow

16,305

33,837

-51.8%

Headcount (full-time positions)

600

542

10.7%

 

2018

2017

Change in %

Dividend

2.80 (Proposal)

2.40

16.7%

Outlook
The start to the year 2019 has been positive for the Jungfraujoch segment. From 1 January to 24 March 2019, 107,965 guests visited the Top of Europe, an increase of 7.3 per cent on the same period last year.

After the challenging start to the 2018/2019 winter sports season, more ski visits were registered over public holidays as well as during the main holiday season than during last year’s season. Not least, the long-lasting good weather and the excellent snow conditions in February contributed to the positive result. With 962,446 skier visits from the beginning of the season up to Sunday, 24 March 2019, the entire Jungfrau Ski region recorded an increase of 9.8% on the same period in the winter sports season 2017/2018. Shortly before the end of the season, visitor numbers are still lower than in the successful winter sports season of 2007/2008.

 With the main strategic project – the V-Cableway – the winter months on all construction sites were challenging. Thanks to additional winter construction measures, however, the tight schedule for the project was met. The successful breakthrough on the Eiger Glacier for the future mountain station of the Eigerexpress tricable gondola on 15 March 2019 marked an important milestone. Construction works are on track to put the new Grindelwald-Männlichen aerial gondola and the “Grindelwald Terminal” of the Bernese Oberland Railway into operation on time on 14 December 2019. The “Eigerexpress” tricable gondola, including car park and terminal with shops and ski depots, will be opened on 12 December 2020.

Starting in September 2019, the Jungfrau Railway Group is expanding its shop offer in Interlaken with a new flagship store. Following the opening of the V-Cableway project at the end of 2020, the group will be operating a Top of Europe shop and a watch shop inside the Grindelwald terminal itself. From January 2021, we will be adding an exclusive watch shop on the Jungfraujoch. Having operated the Bergrestaurant Kleine Scheidegg since December 2017, Jungfraubahn Holding AG will also take over catering operations on the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe and the Eiger Glacier from November 2019. With these measures, the Group is pursuing its strategy of developing into an integrated leisure and service company.  

Annual Report and Applications to the AGM
The Jungfrau Railway Group General Meeting will take place in Interlaken on 13 May 2019. The management board proposes an increase in the dividend from 2.40 to 2.80 francs (+16.7%).
The Jungfraubahn Holding AG Annual Report was created as an online edition for the reporting year 2018. The online Annual Report is published at the following link:

Link to Annual Report 2018: www.jungfrau.ch/geschaeftsbericht

Link to AGM 2019 agenda: www.jungfrau.ch/generalversammlung/