MONTRÉAL, Sept. 3, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Following its quarterly board meeting in Québec City on August 27, 2014, the Board of Directors of VIA Rail Canada (www.viarail.ca) released the Corporation's financial statements for the second quarter of 2014. The quarterly report shows a total revenue growth of 3.9% over the same quarter last year. Despite a 2.7% reduction in the number of total passengers from 937,000 to 912,000, its passenger load factor increased by 6 percentage points, from 54% in the second quarter of 2013 to 60% in the second quarter of 2014.
The operating loss decreased by 6.9%, which represents a reduction of $5.5 million. This decrease is mostly explained by a reduction in contributions to the various pension plans. Government funding decreased by 12.6% (or $13.1 million) compared to the second quarter in 2013, due to reduced operating loss and lower investments in capital investment projects.
"This quarter's financial results are encouraging. In particular, working with our railway partners, we improved our on-time performance (OTP) by 8.7 percentage points from 70.6% in the previous quarter to 79.3% in this quarter. We can be cautiously optimistic that we are on the right track, although a lot of work needs to be done in order to meet last year's OTP quarterly results," stated Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, VIA Rail's President and CEO. "We have a team of dedicated and customer-focused employees; our passengers believe in our services and appreciate their value; and the Government of Canada has provided financial support to initiate some of the changes that will benefit everyone."
The quarterly report is available at viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/our-company/quarterly-reports.
2014 Second Quarter Highlights:
Sales and Marketing
- Introduced new summer fares and reduced select Business Class fares;
- Creation of summer passes for youths aged 12 to 25 and students;
- New fares offered on short distance trips;
- Revised and improved services in Economy class within the Corridor;
- Reduced fuel consumption by 7% and reduced fuel expense by 0.3 million compared to the same period in 2013;
Marketing and Sponsorship Events
- Presented the new Prestige Class at Rendez-Vous Canada;
- Partnered with Family Days organized by the Department of National Defence;
- Overhaul of the LRC (Light, Rapid, Comfortable) cars: to date, 19 renovated Economy cars and 18 overhauled Business class cars are in service on our network;
Safety and Security
- Appeared before the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities (TRAN);
- Participated in the meeting of the Advisory Council on Railway Safety (ACRS);
- Participated in a number of events with partner Operation Lifesaver throughout the quarter;
- Promoted the importance of health and safety at the North-American Occupational Safety and Health Week.
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada (viarail.ca) and its 2,500 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across Canada, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the last eight years, and was the recipient of the 2012 Agent's Choice Award voted by Canadian travel agents and presented by Baxter Travel Media. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested almost a billion dollars in VIA Rail. Read more about our transformation at www.viarail.ca/transformingVIA.
SOURCE: VIA Rail Canada Inc.