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Railways set to confront "major challenges"

The Swiss Federal Railways transported more passengers last year than in 2008 but has warned that it faces “major challenges” within its operations.

This content was published on April 16, 2010 - 11:16

The company announced on Friday it carried 327.5 million people in 2009, an increase of 1.5 per cent. But freight transported by its Cargo subsidiary fell by seven per cent.

In a statement, it said one of the big challenges was to satisfy the growing customer demand for passenger services.

“Despite the progress made, the difficult tasks of restructuring the pension fund and managing the strategic reorientation of SBB Cargo are putting the company and its employees under a great deal of pressure,” it said.

Net profit was also up in 2009 but this was due to mainly one-off factors. The company reported a financial result of SFr369.8 million ($349.1 million), up by 7.2 per cent.

In particular, the sale of real estate valued at SFr293.3 million affected the result.

A transport union commented that it was disgraceful to see the lack of consideration for staff in the 2009 accounts.

In particular, it opposed the SFr1 million compensation to the chief executive, Andreas Meyer, at a time when the real problems of passengers and infrastructure were being "hidden".

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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