Weak British pound and Limburg fine leads to losses for Dutch operator NS

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NS has reported a loss in the first half of this year, largely down to the weak British pound hurting its UK operations and a fine relating to its bid for the Limburg concession in 2014.

Abellio’s turnover fell from €993 million in the first half of 2016 to €948 million this year. According to NS, the company’s turnover would have increased by around €40 million if the currency rate had remained constant.

Although revenue from its German business rose by more than €21 million, the operator said it had been affected by a weaker return from its ScotRail franchise and the loss of the Northern Rail franchise in April 2016.

NS’s domestic results were largely similar to last year, increasing slightly from €1.47 billion to €1.48 billion in 2017.

A fine imposed by the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) of €41 million relating to the Limburg concession led to NS reporting a net loss of €14 million overall compared to a profit of €69 million in 2016.

There were some positives, including higher levels of satisfaction among passengers and a three per cent increase in staff numbers. Earlier this month, an Abellio-led joint venture was also awarded the new West Midlands franchise in the UK.

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