BVZ explodes its profit in 2022

Zurich (awp) – Still convalescing in 2021 after suffering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, BVZ sharply increased its profitability last year. Increasing its income, the Valais railway and ski lift operator saw its net profit soar to 23.5 million Swiss francs, against only 3.7 million twelve months earlier. The proposed dividend also takes off, rising from 3 to 15 Swiss francs per share.

Net profit thus exceeded the level posted in 2019, the last financial year before the Covid-19 pandemic, the effects of which had dragged the Zermatt group into the red the following year. Jumping from 21.1 million over the year to 27.6 million Swiss francs, operating income before interest and taxes (Ebit) was slightly below the 28.2 million earned in 2019, it appears of the press release issued Thursday.

As for the gross operating surplus (Ebitda), it rose to 50.8 million Swiss francs, against 29.3 million in 2021 and 49.4 million in 2019. The group’s revenues rose to 181.8 million, compared to 143 million twelve months earlier (+27.1%) and 180 million in 2019.

On the strength of the strong business growth, the Board of Directors, recalling the restraint it has shown during the pandemic episode, will submit to the next ordinary general meeting the payment of a fivefold dividend at 15 Swiss francs per share. The group had resumed distributions to shareholders last year, the previous one dating back to 2018 for an amount of 14 Swiss francs per share.

Effect scout

In detail, passenger numbers on the Gornergrat railway benefited from a strong recovery, with foreign visitors joining local travelers in the second half of the year. Revenues jumped 68.9% to 33.4 million Swiss francs, with profit jumping from 7.8 million to 9.0 million. On departure from Zermatt, the number of passengers transported increased by 58.4% to 664,593.

The Mobility sector, which includes regional rail, car and freight transport, also grew strongly, with revenues rising by 29.6% to 64.1 million Swiss francs. The increase also illustrates the return of foreign travellers. BVZ also benefited from the federal scout camp effect, which took place during the summer in the Goms valley and welcomed no less than 30,000 scouts from all over Switzerland.

Referring to the current year, the company at the foot of the Matterhorn wants to be optimistic, even though a year earlier a return to pre-pandemic levels still seemed illusory. Banking on the expected growth in tourism worldwide, BVZ remains on its guard against external developments that could affect the sector, such as the conflict in Ukraine.

vj/al

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