Profit Falls at Russian Rail Carrier Globaltrans

Profit Falls at Russian Rail Carrier Globaltrans

Globaltrans, Russia's biggest private rail freight operator, said 2009 profit fell 15 percent from a year ago even as traffic hit an all time high in a shrinking market.

The slide in net profit to $121.2 million reflected the 28 percent depreciation in the ruble against the dollar in which the London-listed company reports.

Revenue rose 12 percent in rubles but fell 12 percent in dollars to $685.3 million from $779.4 million in 2008.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization declined 18 percent to $284.5 million.

Traffic rose 3 percent to 80.9 billion tonne-kilometers compared with an average 12 percent decline in the overall Russian market.

“We were quick to adapt to the new business environment in 2009, taking full advantage of the benefits that running a balanced fleet of rail cars give us," said Globaltrans chief executive Sergey Maltsev.

Globaltrans said the Russian rail freight market increased 15 percent in the early months of 2010 from a year ago although an exceptionally harsh winter slowed growth. Cargo volume remains 15 percent below pre-crisis levels of 2008.

"We are seeing sustained recovery in the Russian freight rail transportation market and we are well placed to expand and take advantage of new opportunities as markets recover," Maltsev said.

Globaltrans bought a controlling stake in BaltTransService for $250 million last year to boost its presence in the profitable oil transport market.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.