Business news from Ukraine

“Ukrzaliznytsia” increased volume of export transportation to ports by 2.4 times

In January-March 2024, Ukrzaliznytsia JSC (UZ) increased export transportation to ports by 2.4 times compared to the same period in 2023 – up to 15.347 million tons, while reducing the volume of transportation through land crossings in export traffic by 11.9% to 8.041 million tons, according to an analytical note of the company following the meeting of the Exporters’ Office.

In total, Ukrzaliznytsia transported 44.69 million tons of cargo in the first quarter of this year, which is 28.7% more than in the first quarter of 2023. Export transportation accounted for 52.3%, or 23.9 million tons, up 50.6% year-on-year.

In January-March, the company’s export transportation volume of iron and manganese ore increased 2.4 times year-on-year to 9.89 million tons, grain cargo – by 18.4% to 9.9 million tons, and ferrous metals – by 13% to 1.19 million tons.

In addition, the volume of vegetable oil transportation in export traffic in January-March increased by 7.5% to 424.2 thousand tons, construction materials – by 1.8 times to 545 thousand tons, cement – by 49.2% to 277.8 thousand tons.

Earlier, Oleksandr Kubrakov, Vice Prime Minister for the Reconstruction of Ukraine, Minister of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure (Ministry of Reconstruction), said that in March 2024, Ukrzaliznytsia transported 16 million tons of cargo in all directions, which is a third more than in March 2023 and 10% more than the record figures for February 2024, when the volume of traffic reached 14.5 million tons.

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“Ukrzaliznytsia” ended first quarter with profit – Lyashchenko

In January-March 2024, Ukrzaliznytsia (UZ) operated at a profit, UZ CEO Yevhen Lyashchenko said at a meeting with journalists, but did not specify the specific amount of the profit.
According to the presentation made at the meeting, in 2023, UZ’s net profit amounted to UAH 5 billion.
Among the key factors that had a positive impact on UZ’s financial results, the presentation mentions revenue from passenger transportation, which increased due to an 11% increase in passenger turnover (+1.42 billion UAH) a decrease in the cost of materials and repairs due to cost-saving measures, including the use of old materials (+UAH 4.81 billion), a more stable hryvnia exchange rate than initially expected (+UAH 4.53 billion) and the restoration of the usefulness of assets in the de-occupied territories (+1.88 billion).
In addition, the cancellation of the land tax liability for facilities in the occupied territories (+UAH 0.69 billion), reduction of the land tax rate due to the re-registration of land plots (+UAH 0.55 billion), and growth in revenues from auxiliary activities: security services by 25% and passenger services by 24% (+UAH 527 million) had a positive impact.
At the same time, UZ’s financial performance was negatively affected by a decline in freight revenue in 2023 due to the temporary suspension of the grain corridor and conventional restrictions on agricultural exports to the EU (-UAH 8.57 billion), as well as a salary increase to avoid staff outflow (-UAH 3.41 billion).
According to Lyashchenko, UZ transferred 50% of its profit in 2023 to the state budget in the form of dividends.
The UZ CEO also noted that the company continues to restore infrastructure damaged by Russian attacks at its own expense. In addition, as one of the largest electricity distribution operators, it has invested in the protection of substations and critical energy infrastructure.

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JSC “Ukrzaliznytsia” will not receive funding from state budget this year

Ukrzaliznytsia (UZ) will not receive funding from the state budget in 2024; at the same time, in 2023, it decreased by 2.4 times compared to 2022, to UAH 4.179 billion, according to a presentation made by Yevhen Lyashchenko, chairman of the board of UZ, during a conversation with journalists.

In 2022, UAH 10.095 billion was allocated from the state budget for UZ. The funds were allocated for the uninterrupted operation of rail transport under martial law, as well as for emergency repair work at railway infrastructure facilities, repair of traction and rolling stock, and payment of wages, UZ said.

In addition, the funds allocated from the state budget financed the design and implementation of work to restore the European standard 1435 mm railway track from Chop station to Uzhhorod station with the extension to the platform of Uzhhorod railway station. UAH 6 million was allocated for these purposes. Almost UAH 83 million was used as a postpaid payment for a batch of passenger railcars delivered under the contract signed in 2021.

Of the UAH 4.179 billion received from the state budget in 2023, UAH 1.905 billion was an advance payment for passenger railcars under the 2023 supply contract, UAH 1.736 billion was a postpayment for passenger railcars under the 2021 supply contract, and UAH 538 million was used to finance infrastructure projects.

In addition, part of the funds was allocated for the reconstruction of facilities with electrification of the Vasylkiv – Vasylkiv II, Cherkasy – Taras Shevchenko section; reconstruction of facilities with electrification of the Vasylkiv – Vasylkiv II. Taras Shevchenko; reconstruction of the railway track on the section Goskordor – Mostyska II – Sknyliv (Lviv) with the construction of a new terminal at Sknyliv station; construction of a railway road bridge over the Dnipro in Kyiv (with approaches) on the railway section Kyiv-Moskovsky – Darnytsia.


“Ukrzaliznytsia” plans to increase passenger traffic by 10%

Ukrzaliznytsia JSC (UZ) plans to increase passenger traffic by 10% to 27.5 million passengers in 2024, according to a presentation made by the company’s CEO Yevhen Lyaschenko during a chat with journalists on Thursday.

At the same time, revenue from passenger transportation is expected to grow to UAH 10.6 billion in 2024, up from UAH 9.3 billion last year and UAH 5.3 billion a year earlier.

The growth in passenger traffic is driven by the launch of trains on international routes, according to a presentation by Ukrzaliznytsia. In particular, revenues from international passenger transportation amounted to UAH 2.6 billion in 2023, compared to UAH 1 billion in 2022. In fact, 2.1 million passengers were transported, compared to 1.1 million in 2022 and 0.04 million in 2021. In 2024, UZ expects to carry 2.3 million passengers, generating UAH 3.5 billion in revenue.

“International transportation, unlike domestic transportation, is profitable. We break even only on the Lviv-Rava-Ruska-Warsaw route (operated by the Polish company SKPL, which receives payment from UZ for services – IF-U),” Lyashchenko said.

In 2024, UZ also expects to increase domestic transportation to 25.2 million passengers, up from 22.8 million last year. Revenue from their transportation is expected to increase from UAH 6.7 billion in 2023 to UAH 7.2 billion.

The company reminded that in 2023, 15 new passenger trains were appointed, increasing the number of domestic routes to 66. In addition, three new international routes were launched: Vienna-Budapest-Chop, Lviv-Rava-Ruska-Warsaw, and Chop-Prague (operated by the Czech railway operator RegioJet – IF-U). The number of international routes in 2023 reached 25.

UZ plans to overhaul 63 passenger cars in 2024, which will increase the capacity of the passenger service. Also, the overhaul of the laundry in Kyiv, which will improve the quality of washing and the volume of laundry processing.

The seat availability monitoring feature, which is currently being tested in the UZ app, will be launched in full. The company also plans to integrate online scoreboards with a GPS system, refine loyalty programs, and update the classification of cars depending on their brand, which will make it easier for passengers to find the right category for them depending on the range of services.


Ukrzaliznytsya plans to launch “family cars”

JSC “Ukrzaliznytsia” (UZ) together with UNICEF plans to implement the project of “family cars” on domestic passenger transportation, said the pre-management of UZ Yevhen Lyashchenko at a briefing.

“Family cars” will be at least on three domestic routes, it is six cars. Perhaps, there will be more such cars,” Lyashchenko said.

According to him, the project will be implemented by the end of the year.

The head of UZ also specified that the concept of the project was developed by UNICEF, which will finance the re-equipment of cars.

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“Ukrzaliznytsia” has paid UAH 1.26 bln in dividends for 2023 in advance

State-owned JSC Ukrzaliznytsia (UZ) has transferred UAH 1.259 billion to the state budget of Ukraine as an advance payment of dividends based on the results of its business activities in 2023, the press service of UZ reported on Wednesday.

“This is the first advance payment, because we are still finalizing the consolidated report, which will clearly determine our profit based on the results of work in 2023,” said Yevhen Lyashchenko, Chairman of the Board of UZ.

It is noted that, according to the government’s decree, the rate of deductions for Ukrzaliznytsia is set at 50%, provided that 30% of the profit will be used to finance capital investments approved in the financial plan for 2024, as well as to reconstruct critical railway infrastructure and renew rolling stock.

As reported, on February 27, the government instructed Naftogaz of Ukraine, Ukrzaliznytsia, Ukrhydroenergo, Ukrainian Energy Machines, Nizhnednistrovska HPP, and Ukrainian Defense Industry to transfer to the state budget at least 50% of the annual dividends on the state share for 2023 in advance by March. According to the Ministry of Finance, this will allow the state budget to receive at least UAH 3 billion in February.