Jungfrau Railway Group generates CHF 53.3 million profit

In 2019, the Jungfrau Railway Group generated a profit of CHF 53.3 million – the best results in its history. The Board of Directors will nevertheless propose an unchanged dividend of CHF 2.80 to the General Meeting, as the current outlook has been tarnished due to the spread of the coronavirus. The consequences of the pandemic cannot yet be assessed. The Jungfrau Railway Group must therefore assume that its results for 2020 will be significantly down on previous years.

The Jungfrau Railway Group can look back on a pleasing 2019 financial year, with a further increase in operating and transport revenue and in annual profit. It generated an operating income of CHF 223.3 million. This represents an increase of CHF 10.5 million on the previous year.

The Jungfrau Railway Group also recorded an increase in its key source of income – transport revenue. At CHF 161.8 million, this was 5.2 percent higher than the previous year. Compared to 2018, the EBIT margin rose by 1.6 percent to 30.2 percent. The return on sales was 23.9 percent. For the 2019 financial year, the result was a profit of CHF 53.3 million, up 11.5 percent or CHF 5.5 million on the previous year.

Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe

The most important segment, Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe, achieved net sales of CHF 149.8 million. The renewed increase of 7.6% is based on long-term, highly active and successful development of the Asian markets. With 1,056,000 visitors, more than a million guests travelled to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe in the reporting year, the fourth time this happened following 2015, 2017 and 2018. Despite the slight drop in frequency of 1.1%, transport revenue increased by 1.8% to CHF 120.9 million. Encouragingly, average revenues also rose again, by 2.7% to CHF 114.50 per guest.

Experience Mountains

The sharpest rise was in Experience Mountains. All participating railways – the Harder Railway, First Cableway and the Lauterbrunnen-Mürren Rail and Cableway – once again achieved new records in transport revenue. Net sales increased significantly by 18.9 percent to CHF 32.6 million.

Winter Sports

The Jungfrau Ski Region is a partnership in which the Jungfrau Railway Group holds more than 60%. For the fourth time in a row, higher earnings were achieved in winter sports. In comparison to the previous year, the number of skier visits in the entire Jungfrau Ski Region rose by 8.4% to 1,069,500, exceeding the one million mark for the first time since 2013. The Group’s proportionate transport revenue increased by 5.1% to CHF 23.5 million. Overall, the winter sports segment generated net sales of CHF 30.8 million.

 

Segment Informationen

CHF (thousands)

2019

2018

Change in %

Segment sales

 

 

Net Jungfraujoch sales

149'839

139’216

7,6%

Net Experience Mountains sales

32'620

27’428

18,9%

Net winter sports sales

30'779

28’051

9,7%

Net sales for other segments*

49'125

50’130

-2,0%

Elimination of internal group sales

-39'053

-32’010

22,0%

Total operating income

223'310

212’815

4,9%

*Principal among the other segments are the Jungfrau Railway power station, Jungfraubahnen Management AG and the Lauterbrunnen multi-storey car park.

Investments

In total, the investment volume of the Jungfrau Railway Group amounted to CHF 118.6 million last year, CHF 83.6 million of which was attributable to the V-Cableway project. In recent years, the company has invested just under CHF 250 million into the major long-term project, which includes the core elements of the Eiger Express, Grindelwald Terminal and the multi-storey car park alongside the already completed rolling stock renewals at the Wengernalp Railway and Jungfrau Railway.

In addition to the V-Cableway, a second major project has been launched – the renewal programme for the Lauterbrunnen-Mürren Rail and Cableway. Costs of a good CHF 50 million are anticipated for the entire renewal of the Mürren Rail and Cableway, largely financed by the Canton of Bern.

 

Key Figures form the consolidated
financial statements

CHF (thousands)

2019

2018

Change in  %

Operating income

223’310

212’815

4,9%

Transport revenue

161’807

153’833

5,2%

EBIT

67’504

60’969

10,7%

Annual profit

53’344

47’826

11,5%

Free cash flow

-21’511

16’305

-231,9%

Headcount (full-time equivalents)

612

600

2,0%

 

2018

2018

Change in %

Dividend

2.80 (Antrag)

2.80

-

Outlook

Jungfraubahn Holding AG is currently having to deal with the effects of the coronavirus. The WHO declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. Management responded to the decline in reservations in its international group travel business with cost-cutting measures. They have taken the opportunity to review the entire cost structures once again. In terms of market development, they will act in a fast and agile manner as soon as the situation permits, through additional sales efforts and offers on the global markets.

The federal measures are currently in place for a limited time, until 19 April 2020. The thinned-out timetable for public transport lines will initially remain in place until 30 April 2020. The consequences of the corona crisis are not foreseeable at the present time. Jungfraubahn Holding AG must assume that the results for 2020 will be significantly down on previous years.

Jungfrau Railways has experienced various global crises in its over 100-year history. As a value stock, it has a solid balance sheet with retained earnings of CHF 595 million and currently no interest-bearing debt.

V-Cableway – A project for the future

With regard to the time with the V-Cableway, the company has made various preparations. It has thus outlined a new vision for development into an integrated leisure company and driven forward with initial steps, such as the expansion of shopping and catering services. The Executive Board will be enlarged on 1 January 2021, as previously communicated. The financial targets have been adjusted (see the Strategic Financial Targets section in the Annual Report), whilst adhering to the principles of a value stock with strong equity (limitation of the interest-bearing debt to 10%) and high earnings intensity (increase in return on sales from 12% to 18%).

The highlight so far of the main strategic project – the V-Cableway – was the punctual operational launch of parts of the terminal in Grindelwald Grund for our partner companies: since 14 December 2019, Berner Oberland-Bahnen AG’s trains have been stopping at the new station and Grindelwald-Männlichen Gondola Cableways opened its new facility to the public on the same day. Work on the construction site on the Eigergletscher is several weeks behind schedule due to harsh weather conditions. At the moment (as of 25 March 2020) construction work is continuing at full speed. All necessary federal hygiene and safety regulations are being systematically followed. As of today, we can assume that the entire V-Cableway terminal, with shops, restaurants and other services, the Eiger Express 3S Cableway and the new multi-storey car park with 1,000 spaces will open on 12 December 2020.

Annual Report and proposals to the General Meeting

The Jungfrau Railway Group’s General Meeting will be held in Interlaken on 18 May 2020. It will be held in compliance with COVID-19 Regulation 2, with no physical participation by shareholders whatsoever. Shareholders will be informed about the format of the General Meeting and the voting procedure by personal invitation and publication in accordance with the Articles of Association. In view of the current situation, the Board of Directors is proposing an unchanged dividend of CHF 2.80.

The Jungfraubahn Holding AG Annual Report for the 2019 reporting year was produced as an online edition. The online annual report is published under the following link: