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THSRC generates first net operating profit in 2009

2010/06/23 21:46:35

Taipei, June 23 (CNA) Taiwan's high-speed rail system operator,Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC) , posted its first ever netoperating profit in 2009 but net income was still in the red, weigheddown by high interest costs and depreciation.

At its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, the companyreported operating revenues of NT$23.32 billion (US$728.76 million)and net operating income of NT$5.56 billion, its first positiveresult since beginning commercial operations in 2007.

THSRC said operating revenues rose by NT$270 million, or 1.2percent, in 2009 while operating costs, excluding depreciation andamortization, fell by NT$770 million, or 7.5 percent.

The company said its bottom line was helped by higher passengertraffic, lower interest costs after its syndicated loans wererenegotiated, and the change from a straight line depreciation methodto one based on transport volume.

But high interest costs and depreciation and amortization stillleft THSRC with a net loss of NT$4.79 billion, or a loss per share ofNT$1.03.

THSRC Chairman Ou Chin-der was upbeat about the rail line'sperformance, saying that more than 3 million passengers rode thehigh-speed rail in February, the first time the railway surpassed the3 million-passenger mark in a single month.

Ou said passenger volume continued to rise in May, reaching 3.2million in May, Ou added.

(By Chen Shun-hsieh and Elizabeth Hsu)