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8/30/2012



Rail News: Passenger Rail

VIA Rail posts declining revenue, ridership for 2Q


VIA Rail Canada Inc. has posted second-quarter ridership and revenue figures that were lower than the same period a year ago, partly due to economic uncertainty affecting travel markets.

However, as a result of “stringent cost management measures,” the railroad’s bottom line was within approved funding levels for the quarter, VIA officials stated in a news release.

“We responded to challenging market conditions with aggressive … measures that helped us maintain expenses below the same period last year, reducing the impact of reduced ridership levels as much as possible while still making passenger rail a more attractive option for customers,” said VIA President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Laliberté.

Net income in the quarter plunged to $7 million (in Canadian dollars) from $17.3 million a year earlier. Total revenue dipped to $68.1 million from $69.1 million a year ago, and total passenger revenue declined to $63.5 million from $64.5 million.

For the year’s first half, net income decreased to $8.6 million from $9.2 million a year ago, while total revenue fell to $128.8 million from $130.8 million and total passenger revenue fell to $119 million from $121.6 million.

 “While we faced a challenging second quarter, we remain optimistic that we can meet our financial objectives for 2012 (excluding pension costs),” Laliberté said. “As we continue to transform and modernize passenger rail, we are building the kind of modern passenger service that customers and taxpayers want — one that is financially sustainable, delivers good value for taxpayers' money, and is ready for future growth.”


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