With the leap over the mark of a quarter of a billion rail passengers, the positive performance of the subgroups and a further increase in turnover, ÖBB is drawing a positive balance for the year 2018. Compared to the last year the consolidated turnover increased by 2.2 percent to more than 5.6 billion euros. For the seventh time in a row, ÖBB can report a clearly positive pre-tax result (EBT) of 150.9 million euros.
Positive freight traffic in a rough environment
The market environment for freight transport has recently become increasingly harsh. The Rail Cargo Group was able to significantly increase its turnover in the past financial year and is once again the subgroup with the highest turnover. However, the development of earnings has not lived up to expectations. Strong competition, rising costs and currency losses in the Hungarian forint are depressing margins. An increase in turnover of more than 100 million euros is offset by a decline in EBT of 18.9 million euros to 23.5 million euros. However, RCG remains one of the few European rail freight companies with a positive earnings contribution.
"The fact is that everything speaks for the transport of goods by rail. The railways are the most environmentally friendly mode of transport. With Rail Freight Forward and Noah's Train, RCG has taken clear steps to increase the share of rail freight transport in Europe from 18 percent to 30 percent by 2030. The sticking point, however, is the framework conditions. More fairness compared to road transport is required," says ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä. As the largest climate protection company in the country, ÖBB helps to save 3.5 million tons of CO2 annually.
RCG is already successful in international freight transport, especially in Europe. A total of 2,000 Rail Cargo Group trains are on the move every day. In Asia, the company is fighting hard for new transports, in particuler to China. In 2018 there were around 400 trains to and from China – up to 600 connections are planned for 2019. Growth opportunities are available and must now be exploited. Three quarters of all RCG's freight services are international.