Semi-annual report of Jungfraubahn Holding AG 2015

The Jungfrau Railway Group achieved a half-year profit of 14.6 million francs

The Jungfrau Railway Group can look back on a pleasing course of business in the first semester of 2015. The company achieved an operating revenue of CHF 86.4 million, an increase of CHF 6.9 million, or 8.7%, compared to the previous year. The increase in revenue was largely due to more traffic income, which rose by CHF 6.4 million compared to the same period in 2014. A profit of 14.6 million francs was achieved in the first half-year.

Excursion traffic to the Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe continues to benefit from the rising demand from Asia. Some 424,600 visitors travelled to the Jungfraujoch in the first half of 2015, an increase of 69,700 on last year. The fact that the company has continued to intensively cultivate the Asian market and strengthen the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe brand is clearly bearing fruit.

Overall, the experience mountains segment of the Jungfrau Railway Group started the summer season on a positive note. The daily evening trips made by the Harder Railway have paid off and led to a significant increase in visitor numbers compared to the same period last year.

After a difficult start to the 2014/2015 winter season caused by unfavourable weather conditions, the result for the period under review also sank to below the average from January to the end of the 2015 season. Despite good snow conditions, declining numbers were recorded for both day-visitors and holiday guests. From 1 January 2015 to the end of the winter season, the JUNGFRAU Ski Region, in which the Jungfrau Railway Group holds a 60% revenue share, recorded 839,400 skier visits, a reduction of 3.3%. The resultant traffic revenue from the winter-sport business for the Jungfrau Railway Group was CHF 17.2 million, a reduction of 2.7%. This result is considerably below the good winter-sport years.

In the first semester of 2015, the Jungfrau Railway Group achieved a profit of CHF 14.6 million, a half-year result of 24.8% above that of the previous year. The company recorded an operative result (EBIT) of CHF 19.3 million and achieved an EBIT margin of 22.3%.

The revoking of the euro minimum level of CHF 1.20 only marginally affected our company in the first half of 2015. Although the marked drop in holiday visitors from the euro area during recent years has accelerated, this has been compensated by the increase in visitors from Asia and the Middle East. .

Visitor frequencies

2015

2014

Change

1/1-30/6

Jungfraujoch (Top of)

424,600

354,900

19.6%

JUNGFRAU Ski Region skier visits

839,400

868,100

-3.3%

Traffic revenue (CHF in
thousands)

Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe

47,081

39,799

18.3%

Mountain Experiences

3,787

3,539

7.0%

Winter sport

17,226

17,699

-2.7%

Freight traffic

812

843

-3.7%

Total gross traffic earnings

68,906

61,880

11.4%

Reductions in revenue

-3,532

-2,877

22.8%

Total

65,374

59,003

10.8%

 

Expansion project: V-Cableway

The Jungfrau Railway Group, together with the Grindelwald-Männlichen Gondola Cableway and the Bernese Oberland Railway, is planning to construct a V-Cableway that will not only access the Männlichen but also Eigergletscher. The V-Cableway will connect to public transport with a new Bernese Oberland Railway (BOB) station at Rothenegg in Grindelwald. The purpose of the project is to create new perspectives for coming generations and to substantially increase quality for summer and winter visitors.

In October 2014, the municipalities of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen agreed to the V-Cableway project with a clear majority, however the required two-thirds majority was narrowly missed at the first ballot of the Wärgistal mountain cooperation. On 21 October 2015, the mountain cooperation will repeat the ballot for the building-approval contract for the right to pass over the land and the project-construction contract for the Eiger-Express. The ballot could not be held in June as planned because of pending procedural issues.

New rolling stock for the Jungfrau Railway and Wengernalp Railway

The Jungfrau Railway has ordered four new three-section low-floor trains which are currently in production at Stadler Rail AG. The trains will be delivered progressively from February 2016.  The rolling stock of the Wengernalp Railway has been renewed with six three-section panoramic trains, also as part of the V-Cableway project. The first panoramic trains were put into service in December 2014. All six panos have been in daily service since June 2015. The procurement of new rolling stock, including customer information systems, will significantly increase the quality of travel for our guests.

Redesign of railway station

In March 2015, the executive boards of the Jungfrau Railway Group and the Bernese Oberland Railways agreed to a credit totalling CHF 9.4 million for the redevelopment of Lauterbrunnen railway station. Construction work began immediately following the granting of planning permission by the Federal Office of Transport in late April. The work will take until the beginning of the 2017/2018 winter season. The redesign will create infrastructures for disabled people to meet BehiG standards, extend the platform area and match the length to the new rolling stock, optimize freight operation, increase operational safety and improve access to the platforms. The focus is on enhanced quality and customer benefits.       

First Cliff Walk

In May 2015, the first cut in the soil was made for the new First Cliff Walk summit trail. The year-round attraction at the First summit station offers thrills for everyone. It consists of a cliff-side walkway, a hanging bridge and a vantage platform with spectacular views towards the Eiger. The round trail creates an attractive peak experience, supporting the positioning of "First - Top of Adventure". The official opening will take place on 16 September. One section, the vantage platform, has been accessible since mid-August.

Shareholders Club

All shareholders holding more than 250 Jungfrau Railway Holding AG shares on the deadline of 1 October 2015 are represented in the Jungfrau Railway Group Shareholders Club. The latest offers can be found at www.jungfrau.ch/aktionaersclub.

Prospects

The positive trend shown by our main pillar of income – excursion traffic to the Jungfraujoch – has continued at the beginning of the second half of 2015. In July and August, the Jungfrau Railway has virtually constantly reached its capacity limit. Thanks to the sustained and wonderfully warm summer weather many individual guests also travelled to the Top of Europe. Based on the excellent level of bookings, the Jungfrau Railway Group is confident that the success of previous years will continue. In the experience mountains segment, visitor numbers in July and August were also well above those of last year and the five-year average. The Jungfrau Railway Group is hoping for an early start to the 2015/2016 winter season. We anticipate a further drop in the number of winter holiday guests owing to the strong Swiss franc.