MERSEYRAIL’S record profits have reached a new peak as the rail operator now makes 33p profit for each of the 37m journeys made.
Accounts just filed at Companies House show pre-tax profits for the year to January 9 increased by £750,000 to £12.1m.
This enabled joint owners Serco and Abellio to take out £8.3m in dividends, which follows earnings of £8.2m in the previous year and £7.6m for 2007.
Turnover for the 53-week financial year was down £2.7m to £124.5m, an annualised fall of 4% compared with the Capital of Culture year.
However, the company said this “had no adverse impact” on its profitability as it was offset by a reduction in Network Rail charges.
Merseyrail’s operating profit showed a marked improvement – up £2m to £12.5m – and it was only falling interest payments and rising finance charges which reduced its pre-tax profit levels.
During the year, the company doubled the amount of cash tied up in short-term deposits and investments to £5.5m.
Merseyrail, which operates about 5,000 train journeys each week along 75 route miles, stressed the improvements in its performance, which continue to reach higher standards of punctuality.
It also chose to freeze ticket prices for 2010, although this decision was partly controlled by the price link for some tickets with the retail price index.