The results of ČD Cargo for 2020 were negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the year-on-year comparison, 4 million tons less were transported. Transports of solid and liquid fuels, automotive, iron and the combined transport of goods from / to China were most significantly affected. However, the decline in performance in most commodities fully corresponded with the economic development of individual sectors.
„From my point of view, ČD Cargo experienced clearly the most difficult year in its independent existence. On the one hand, we faced an unexpectedly sharp decline in demand for our services and, in difficult conditions, we tried to provide our customers with delivered transports in the highest possible quality. On the other hand, we were still thinking about the future. In these difficult times, we did not reduce our short-term operating overcapacity and 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 opened a new subsidiary in Hungary,“ states Tomáš Tóth, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ČD Cargo, a.s.
ČD Cargo responded to the decline in performance with a number of cost-saving measures with the aim of increasing the use of internal capacities and temporarily reducing unnecessary costs. At the same time, a number of projects were prepared to take advantage of business opportunities and more efficient operation of rail freight transport under the ČD Cargo brand. Last but not least, the company managed to secure sufficient external financial resources on the financial markets for future investments.
„Without these unpopular measures, the economic result and the overall economic situation of our company would be much worse. More than 500 administrative and operational employees left our company, we prepared the physical liquidation of other 1 200 long-term redundant and inoperable wagons and several dozen locomotives, and we reduced the costs of external services. A more drastic intervention in capacity would already mean a reduction in the range of our services, which is unacceptable from the point of view of our strategy. We have not significantly reduced investments in core business, which is crucial for our future. A clear goal was also the return of the company to the black numbers in 2021. Already the first quarter of this year indicates to us that we are on the right path and that our measures worked,“ added the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
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