Swiss Federal Railways records first profit since 2019
For the first time since 2019, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has recorded a profit in the first six months of 2023.
Swiss Federal Railways pulls in first profit since 2019
SBB managed to rake in a profit of 99 million Swiss francs in the first six months of 2023, a significant improvement on the 142,3-million-franc loss posted in the first half of 2022. It is the first time since 2019 that the largest rail company in Switzerland has made a profit.
While describing the figures as a “ray of hope in challenging times”, an SBB press release noted that the international company still remains under massive pressure to cut back, facing a debt of 11,4 billion francs. “In order to stabilise its financial situation, SBB needs an annual profit of 400 to 500 million francs,” the statement said. The company wants to cut costs, become more efficient and productive, and reduce spending by around 6 billion francs by 2030.
Passenger numbers above pre-pandemic levels
SBB’s move back into the black was helped by growing passenger demand: according to the press statement, 1,33 million people travelled with SBB every day in the first six months of the year. In March 2023, passenger numbers exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time, and this momentum has been sustained in the months since. Compared to the same period in 2022, sales of tickets were up 21,4 percent, and up 3,04 percent compared to 2019.
More and more international passengers are also travelling on Swiss trains, according to the report, with the first six months of 2023 seeing 5,7 million international passengers, an increase of 20 percent compared to 2019.
At the same time, however, the increase in passenger numbers translated into a decrease in customer satisfaction, which fell to 79,3 points out of 100 in the first half of 2023. In 2022, customer satisfaction was at 80,7 out of 100. Nonetheless, train and connection punctuality remained high at 93,6 percent and 98,8 percent, respectively, despite the higher passenger numbers.