The Jungfrau Railway Group looks back on a challenging 2016 business year. It achieved a traffic income of 126 million francs. Despite a decline of six per cent compared to the record achieved last year, it recorded the second highest traffic income in its history. At the same time, the average pro-fit in the Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe segment increased by 1.7 per cent.
Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe Despite the challenging environment, the second-best result was achieved in terms of frequencies as well as traffic income in the history of the Jungfrau Railway. Although the terrorist attacks in Europe, the unrest in Turkey and the refugee problems had a significant effect on the number of visitors, especially in group business from Asia, a total of 916,500 guests travelled to the Top of Europe in 2016. To achieve this, it was crucial that the company had again increased the intensity of cultivating the Asia market in order to further strengthen the Jungfraujoch brand. Traffic income of CHF 100.3 million achieved in the Jungfraujoch segment was 7.6 per cent lower compared to the record attained year. However, the 100 million threshold could be exceeded again for the second time.
Winter sport The result for the Jungfrau Ski Region fell below average from the beginning of 2016 to the end of the season in spring 2016. Despite good snow conditions declining numbers were recorded both for day-visitor as well as holiday guests. Thanks to an early start to the winter, Jungfrau Railways were able to begin the 2016/2017 winter-sport season as early as mid-November 2016. Efficient snowmaking equipment made it possible to maintain the offer of good piste conditions throughout the Kleine Scheidegg skiing area despite the continual high-pressure weather in December. In the Grindelwald-First ski area a reduced operation for freestylers was possible and in the lower area moun-tain carts and scooter bikes were offered as alternatives. The Jungfrau Ski Region is a cooperative product on which the Jungfrau Railway Group holds more than 60%. In 2016, a total of 909,000 first entries were recorded in the entire Jungfrau Ski. Region. In the winter sports segment, traffic in-come fell by 10.9 per cent to CHF 19.6 million francs.
Experience mountains The Jungfrau Railway Group recorded good results throughout the experience mountains business segment, which comprises excursion traffic to the Harder Kulm, First and Winteregg-Mürren. With a gain of 16.8 per cent, traffic income was once again significantly increased. The First Aerial Cableway achieved a plus of 22.7 per cent. The Harder Railway increased its traffic income by 17.4 per cent. The Lauterbrunnen-Mürren Rail & Cableway achieved a growth in traffic income of 6.1 per cent. A total of almost CHF 13.3 million was generated in the experience mountains segment; a traffic income of almost two million higher than in the previous year.
Prospects for 2017 The 2017 business year in the Jungfraujoch segment began well. From 1 January to 15 February 2017, 61,045 guests visited the Top of Europe, thus exceeding the previous record year of 2015. In comparison to the same period in the previous year, an increase of 17,058 guests, or 38.8 per cent, was recorded. As expected, the winter sports business continues to be challenging. The decline seen in recent years continues. This is due in particular to the difficult start to the current season, which cannot be compensated for even by an excellent end to the season.
To combat the downward trend in winter sports, Jungfrau Railways are focusing on a continued increase in quality. With the planned V-Cableway project, with a direct public transport link, travel times will be considerably reduced and facilities aligned with international standards created. The aim is to obtain permission to build this coming summer.