Canada’s Via Rail profit triples to $11M

Canada’s national passenger rail company, Via Rail, tripled its profit in the first quarter of 2013, to more than $11 million.

Via Rail reported Thursday its profitability tripled in the first three months of this year compared to the same period a year ago.

The uptick in profit came even as the Crown corporation saw revenues fall to $59 million in the January to March period.

Revenues were up by 2.7 per cent along the heavily travelled corridor between Ontario and Quebec, but they fell elsewhere in the country, including southwestern Ontario and the Ocean line between Montreal and Halifax.

Expenses were also lower, at $148 million, but Via showed a profit once funding from government is incorporated into the numbers.

The railway operator announced last June that it expected to cut 200 unionized jobs, or about nine per cent of its workforce, as it reduces trips on several lines.

The Conservative government cut the subsidy to Via Rail by $41 million over three years in the 2012 budget.

The rail company saw an improvement in one key measure of productivity — total revenues per employee.

Via took in $93,000 for every person it employs in the first quarter, an improvement from $89,000 per employee a year ago.

Passenger revenues per seat-mile, on-time performance, employee attendance and other closely watched metrics were all unchanged compared to last year.

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Source : CBC

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