Jungfrau Railways Group achieves second-highest number of visitors to the Jungfraujoch
The Jungfrau Railway Group can look back on a satisfactory first semester for 2016. The consequences of the terrorist attacks in Europe have had a noticeable impact on business results. The achieved operating revenue of CHF 78.7 million represents a reduction of 7.3% on last year’s record figure, however is above the five-year average. During the first six months, 376,100 visitors travelled to the Jungfraujoch, equivalent to the second-best result ever.
Excursion traffic to the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe continues to benefit from market diversification and the demand from Asia. However, the terrorist attacks in Europe, unrest in Turkey and the refugee issue have had a negative impact on the number of visitors, particularly in group business from Asia. The new visa regulations in China were also an added hindrance. The second-best result in the history of the Jungfrau Railway was achieved in visitor frequencies as well as in net traffic revenue. In the first half of 2016, a total of 376,100 visitors travelled to the Jungfraujoch, 48,500 fewer than the record achieved last year. At CHF 39 million, net traffic revenue for the Jungfraujoch business segment is 12.2% lower than for the same period in the previous year. Nevertheless, the success of 2014 was surpassed despite the challenging environment. Here it was vital that the company once again increased the intensity of cultivating the Asia market, in order to further strengthen the Jungfraujoch brand.
Taken as a whole, the experience mountains segment of the Jungfrau Railway Group has started the summer season on a positive note. The First Aerial Cableway has recorded a 38.9% increase in the number of guests in comparison to the previous year. Overall, the net traffic revenue for the experience mountains segment totalled 4.3 million Swiss francs, an increase of 13.2 per cent on last year.
After a difficult start to the 2015/2016 winter season caused by unfavourable weather conditions, the result for the period under review also fell below average from January to the end of the 2016 season. From 1 January 2016 to the end of the season in April 2016, the JUNGFRAU Ski Region, of which the Jungfrau Railway Group holds a share of over 60%, recorded 801,000 skier visits, a drop of 4.6% compared to the same period in the previous year. For the Jungfrau Railway Group, this equates to a net traffic revenue of CHF 15.6 million from the winter sports business, representing a reduction of 8.6%.
The Jungfrau Railway Group achieved a profit of CHF 10.6 million in the first semester of 2016. At 27.8 per cent, the decline in profits was disproportionate compared to the previous year. This was to be expected, due to the high proportion of fixed costs - which is in the nature of the business - and an increase in write-offs.
Skier Visits JUNGFRAU Ski Region
Net traffic revenue
Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe
Total traffic revenue
The company recorded an operative result (EBIT) of CHF 10.8 million and achieved an EBIT margin of 13.7%.
The result was affected in particular by the terrorist attacks in Europe and the associated global news coverage. The events led to a reduction in the number of Asian guests, who cancelled their trips to Europe for safety reasons.
During the first half of 2016, the Jungfrau Railway Group focused on investment in quality. Seat reservation for individual passengers was introduced in mid-May to eliminate guests having to stand in the trains during high season. The Jungfrau Railway Group has extended its evening schedule by adding two more trains as well as optimising the guidance system for guests, with the aim of improving guest distribution throughout the day and thus upgrading the quality of the trip to the Jungfraujoch.
V-Cableway expansion project
The V-Cableway will secure the medium and long term future success of tourism for the entire Jungfrau Region as a top year-round destination. It will strengthen the competitiveness of the Jungfraujoch as a world famous visionary project and help the winter-sports destination to take a leading position in international competition.
At the beginning of 2016, Canton Bern approved the amendments to the land-use plans passed by the municipalities of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. The five complaints received will be assessed by the Directorate of Justice, Municipal Affairs and Church Affairs of Canton Bern. The applications for planning approval for the 3S-Cableway and the new Grindelwald-Männlichen Aerial Gondola (GGM) were submitted in spring 2016. In a next step, the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) will rule on the approval of the plans and make a decision on the objections submitted. Responsibility for the secondary installations (parking garage, ski pistes) lies with the Interlaken-Oberhasli Government Registrar. The aerial cableway companies involved anticipate that with an optimum process procedure, the new Männlichen Aerial Gondola and the 3S-Cableway could be operational by the end of 2019.
The Jungfraubahn Holding AG has kept its promise within the scope of the V-project and exercised its subscription rights for a GGM share capital increase. In order to meet the wishes of the Itramen farming cooperative among other things, the Jungfrau Railway Group has acquired an additional proportion of shares in the course of the capital increase. It now holds an almost 36% share of the GGM.
New rolling stock for the Jungfrau Railway
In February 2016, the first of four new three-section low-floor trains for the Jungfrau Railway was delivered by Stadler Rail AG and put into scheduled service from the end of May 2016. Commissioning of the other trains followed in stages and was completed at the end of August 2016. The procurement of new rolling stock is an element of the V-Cableway project. The new rolling stock including the customer information system will significantly increase travelling quality for guests as well as productivity.
All shareholders with 250 or more shares of Jungfrau Railway Holding AG on the deadline of 1 October 2016, are represented in the Jungfrau Railway Group Shareholders Club. The latest offers can be found at www.jungfrau.ch/aktionaersclub.
The number of visitors to the Jungfraujoch in July and August did not reach the record levels of the previous year. Nevertheless they are considerably above the average of the last five years and the reference year of 2014. The First Aerial Cableway and the Harder Railway were able to make further gains on the past record year. The second half of this year remains a challenge.
The Jungfrau Railway Group however, is well situated due to its strong position in intercontinental growth markets and diversification of its guest flow. The major investments made will have a positive impact. Thanks to its new rolling stock, the Jungfrau Railway will operate a 90 minute circulation to the Jungfraujoch from the timetable change in 2016, thus reducing the round trip by 30 minutes and significantly increasing productivity.
Semi-annual report 2016