State-owned freight rail operator Operail saw an improvement of its main financial indicators, and earned a net profit of €9.6 million in 2019, the company reports.
The Operail group increased its sales revenue to €75.4 million last year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 8 percent, amounting to €17 million.
"2019 was iconic for us in several aspects – we entered a new market and established a subsidiary for servicing cargo transport in Finland, expanded the list of services rendered, took some significant steps about providing more economical transport solutions, and managed to demonstrate very good financial results," Raul Toomsalu, Chairman of Management Board of Operail said.
The Operail group also includes the parent company subsidiaries in Estonia and Finland.
Operail's rail car rental business continued to grow, with revenues increasing by 40 percent from the previous year to €12.9 million, the company says. By the end of the previous year, more than 2,200 of Operail's 3,500 wagons had been leased out.
The freight volume in 2019 remained on the same level as in the previous year, and Operail transported 13.2 million tonnes of freight (2018: 13.4 million tonnes) of which transit made up 71 percent. Most of the freight transported by rail was fertilizers (6.1 million tonnes) and mineral fuels (3.5 million tonnes).
"We forecast the 2020 transit freight volume to be lower than in 2019; however, we are seeing an increase in the Estonian domestic freight volume," said Toomsalu.
"The foundation laid in the last two years in the form of new services and markets allows us to be optimistic about the company's future," Toomsalu added.
Operail is an Estonian state-owned railway company, whose main business areas are freight transport, locomotive and wagon repair and construction, and rolling stock rental. The company employs more than 640 people.
Editor: Roberta Vaino