CZ/SK verze

From the worst out there, the head of ČD Cargo Tóth reports a return to profit

From the worst out there, the head of ČD Cargo Tóth reports a return to profit
photo: Archives/ČD CARGO
29 / 04 / 2021

The year 2020 could be described as the most difficult year in the history of ČD Cargo. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 4 million tonnes fewer goods were transported year-on-year. This loss also influenced the profit of ČD Cargo, which after-tax reached -248 million CZK. However, in the first quarter of 2021, the situation improved, and ČD Cargo is again in black numbers.

ČD Cargo recorded the highest losses in the transportation of liquid and solid fuels or iron. There was also a decrease in automotive transport or combined transport of goods between Europe and China. The decline in shipments is, therefore, in most cases, linked to the economic development of individual sectors.

"From my point of view, ČD Cargo has had clearly the most difficult year in its independent existence. On the one hand, we were struggling with an unexpectedly sharp drop in demand for our services and in difficult conditions, we tried to provide our customers with unclaimed transport in the maximum possible quality. On the other hand, we were still thinking about the future. In these difficult times, we did not proceed with a permanent reduction of our capacities. On the contrary, we fully focused on further expanding the territorial scope of the ČD Cargo Group. After Austria, we also fully established ourselves on the German market last year and established a new subsidiary in Hungary, "said Tomáš Tóth, Chairman of the Board of ČD Cargo, a.s.

The pandemic situation required several austerity measures. Thanks to them, the company managed to increase the use of internal capacities. There was also a temporary reduction in unnecessary costs. As a result of austerity measures, more than 500 employees had to be made redundant, both from the operational and administrative areas. They had to remove 1200 wagons and several dozen locomotives that could not operate for a long time from their fleet. Without these measures, ČD Cargo would have economically lost much more.

However, according to Tomáš Tóth, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ČD Cargo, further austerity measures would mean a reduction in the services provided. From the point of view of ČD Cargo's strategy, this step is unacceptable. Therefore, in addition to austerity measures, ČD Cargo has prepared several projects intended to take full advantage of business opportunities. Despite the pandemic, ČD Cargo continued to expand into foreign markets. In addition to Austria, Germany, and Hungary, ČD Cargo also operates in Poland and Slovakia.

The goal of ČD Cargo in 2021 is to return to black numbers. As Tomáš Tóth, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ČD Cargo stated in a press release: "Already the first quarter of this year indicates to us that we have set out on the right path and that our measures are working." Thus, the greatest Czech railway carrier has the worst year of its independent operation behind it and is making a profit again.