NS profits rise, punctuality improves

Dutch railway company NS on Friday announced net profit in the first half of €133m, compared with €94m in the year earlier period.

The company said the improvement came from higher yields from its train and bus activities and from one-off items, which will also have a positive effect on second half results.

‘We expect the improvement in profit to continue for the whole of 2014, even though this comes from one-off items,’ CFO Engelhardt Robbe said in a statement.

Less positive

Robbe is less positive about 2015 when new government rules will apply to travel information, passenger service, accessibility for the handicapped and new trains and the space they offer.

The first half was characterised by intensive contacts with other rail operators and track provider ProRail, the NS said. The structure was simplified bringing ‘management closer to the passenger and the operation’, and completion of the introduction of the public transport smart card came a step closer.

New trains

The NS is currently in the throes of buying new sprinter and intercity trains and says it has learned lessons from the fiasco of the Fyra. The Italian high-speed train proved unsuitable for the Dutch railways.

Punctuality improved in the first half to 93.3% compared with 90.4% in the year earlier period.

The company said customer satisfaction improved, although there was a dip in April and May which the NS said was because of the strike by cleaners.


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