"Optimising the Company's expenditures will increase our investment budget," says Oleg Belozerov
Oleg Belozerov, President of the Russian Railways, today met Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The meeting focused on the development of suburban passenger services, the implementation of the Company's investment programme, reducing costs and improving the efficiency of rail transport.
Belozerov said that the Russian government's decision this year to support the suburban passenger companies (SPCs) had already yielded positive results. By setting VAT at zero and the preferential coefficient at 1% to the infrastructure tariff, as well as working with the governors of regions to allocate compensation for lost revenues, the financial position of the SPC's has been stabilised.
"At the beginning of 2015, a provisional figure of 7.6 billion roubles was set for the regional budgets, but in the course of the process, the amount has increased to almost 11 billion roubles. I would like to say that in our 2015 results, we plan to finish with figures that are close to break-even operations. This will be the first time this has been achieved," said Oleg Belozerov.
A good financial performance enables the Company to provide customers with new services and use comfortable, modern high-speed trains on our routes. In particular, on 2 September 2015 Lastochka express trains entered service on the Saint Petersburg - Vyborg route and 1 October - on the Moscow - Kryukovo - Tver line, significantly reducing travel time.
Another topic under discussion was the Company's work to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
"We understand that development is only possible now by optimising our business. We are currently working in practically all areas, starting with improving productivity, which this year we think we can increase by 5%. We are very serious optimising the pricing and unit costs in procurement and construction. Moreover, we are now actively implementing technological and price audits," said Oleg Belozerov.
These measures have enabled Russian Railways to increase its investment budget in 2016 to 432 billion roubles, which will result in an additional multiplier effect for the development of the national economy, said the President of Russian Railways.