According to the consolidated interim report, the first quarter of 2019 has brought the international logistics and transport company AS Operail a net profit of €2.6 million, which is twice as much as their net profit in the first quarter of 2018.
Operail CEO Raul Toomsalu said that the main source of their profit was the wagon rental business.
"Our revenue from wagon rental increased by 65 percent compared to last year, amounting to €2.9 million in the first quarter this year. Growth of wagon rental business is a result of the extensive demand and limited supply, which has increased the rental prices," explained Toomsalu. Operail and its subsidiary Operail Leasing have now leased nearly 2,100 wagons.
Operail's freight transport volume in the first quarter of 2019 amounted to 3.6 million tons, which is 2 percent less than in the same period in 2018.
"Our calculations show that if we carry more than a million tons per month, we earn a reasonable profit on transport volume. We have managed to overcome the downturn of a few years ago and continued our last year's trend with regard to railway freight transport," said Toomsalu.
"At the same time, we are concerned about the confusion with the infrastructure fees and high rates compared to our neighbouring countries, which makes it difficult to make the necessary in the future investments."
Compared to the first quarter of 2018, liquid mineral fuels and fertilizers have shown a growing volume, while oil shale and solid mineral fuels have experienced a decline.
Operail operating income in the first three months grew by two percent from the previous year, amounting to more than €18.5 million. The group's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) was €4.3 million.
Company to invest in improving working conditions
"For us, the well-being of our employees, clean environment and responsible activities are important. This year, Operail will invest nearly half a million euros into improving the working conditions of its employees, as well as into the new locomotives produced at Tapa, which are more environmentally friendly. Moreover, we joined the declaration of corporate social responsibility in order to develop our company in a direction which ensures that the impact of our environmental activities are strictly positive," added Toomsalu.
Operail is an Estonian state-owned railway company, whose main areas of activity include freight transport, repair and construction of locomotives and carriages, and rolling stock rental. The company currrently employs more than 700 people.
Editor: Ksenia Fadina, Aili Vahtla