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Long-distance train journeys boost VR's profits

Finland's state-owned railway firm VR Group announced the company's turnover increased by nearly 7 percent, while passengers made 10 percent more long-distance journeys in January-June compared to figures from last year. Freight transport figures were also up.

VR:n lippuautomaatti
Long-distance trips are popular. Image: Antti Kolppo / Yle

VR Group’s profitability saw significant improvement during the first half of 2017. Net sales between January and June were 601.4 million euros, representing an increase of 6.9 percent from the previous year, the company said in a release issued Friday.

Operating profit for the period was 36.8 million, an improvement on the previous year of 35.6 million euros.

The company said that its passenger services recorded an operating profit of 24.7 million euros.

VR said that long-distance train rides grew by 9.5 percent, with some 6.3 million long-distance passenger trips made on the national railroad between January and June.

Freight numbers also up

The rail company's freight logistics division, VR Transpoint transported 5.3 percent more cargo compared with a year previously – amounting to some 21.5 million tonnes in goods.

"The recovery of industrial production in Finland and the general economic development in Finland and Russia have also contributed positively to the volume of transports at the beginning of the year," VR's release reads.

Rail building division VR Track's turnover grew by 5.5 percent to 131.3 million euros. Numbers were boosted by projects such as the venture to re-introduce tram tracks in the city of Tampere and upgrades of the Riihimäki-Tampere rail lines' security equipment.

VR Group estimates that its profits and overall turnover will see substantial improvements by the end of the year. Logistics and long-distance passengers are expected to continue to drive the climb.

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