Excursions to the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe continued to benefit from the diversification of the markets as well as the strong demand from Asia. Despite the difficult start to 2018 due to Föhn wind-related lost days, both the number of visitors and the net transport revenue slightly exceeded the previous record year. In the first half of 2018, a total of 466,300 guests travelled to the Jungfraujoch, an increase of 0.4% on the same period in the previous year. At CHF 48.6 million, the net transport revenue of the Jungfraujoch segment rose by 2.4% on the first half of 2017. For the first time on the Jungfraujoch, a high season tariff was introduced on 1 June 2018, which applies until the end of August. Average revenue increased by 2% between January and June 2018.
The Jungfrau Railway Group experienced a remarkable increase in the number of visitors to the Experience Mountains. In particular, the adventure offers on Grindelwald-First and the good weather conditions in the second quarter led to a high number of visitors. In total, the net transport revenues on the Experience Mountains amounted to CHF 7.3 million, an increase of 24.8% on the previous year. The earlier start to the summer season by expanding the seasons paid off as it did in 2017.
Despite an early start to the season in November 2017, the winter sports business continued to be challenging in the 2017/2018 season. For the reporting period from 1 January 2018 until the end of the season in April 2018, the JUNGFRAU Ski Region, where the Jungfrau Railway Group holds a turnover share of more than 60%, registered 833,900 ski visits, an increase of 7.0% on the same period the previous year. For the Jungfrau Railway Group, net transport revenue from the winter sports business amounted to CHF 17.2 million. Despite the increase on 2017, the result is well below the great winter sports years of 2007/2008.
In the first half of 2018, the Jungfrau Railway Group generated a profit of CHF 20.1 million, which is its best half-year result to date. This is an increase of 18.5 per cent on the previous year.
The company generated an operating result (EBIT) of CHF 25.4 million and achieved an EBIT margin of 25.4 per cent. The transport business grew in all areas, with all segments contributing to the good result.
V-Cableway expansion project
On 30 May 2018, the Federal Office of Transport issued the planning permission for the V-Cableway project. A week later, environmental protection organisations waived their appeals. Thus, after more than 5 years of planning, construction of the V-Cableway finally started in June 2018. The ground-breaking ceremony took place on 3 July 2018. The tricable gondola “Eigerexpress” is to be opened at the end of 2020. The V-Cableway is the main strategic project of Jungfraubahn Holding AG, in which the group is investing CHF 320 million. The aim is to strengthen the competitiveness of the Jungfraujoch as a world-famous beacon of tourism as well as the JUNGFRAU Ski region vis-à-vis international competition.
Due to its strong position on the intercontinental growth markets, the Jungfrau Railway Group is well positioned for the second half of the year. Since mid-June 2018, construction work on the V-Cableway generation project is in full swing and on track. All construction sites are fully operational; the schedule is tight due to the delayed start of construction. Thanks to the long-lasting summer weather, however, important construction progress was achieved over a short period of time.
In July 2018, the heatwave attracted numerous guests to the Jungfrau Railways Experience Mountains as well as the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe. A major challenge remains the ongoing increase in average revenue in the highly competitive sector, which pursues a low-price policy in Asian markets, in contrast to the Jungfrau Railway Group.
Link to the half-yearly report 2018 including CEO video: www.jungfrau.ch/half-year-report