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High-Speed Rail in Taiwan Finally Breaks Even in April

May 29, 2008 | By CENS

Taipei, May 29, 2008 (CENS)--Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) finally broke even in cash flow in April for the first time since its inauguration in 1998, according to statistics compiled by the Bureau of High Speed Rail (BOHSR) under the auspices of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

BOHSR said the THSRC posted NT$1.9 billion (US$62.29 million at US$1:NT$30.5) in ticketing revenues plus NT$200 million (US$6.55 million) in such non-core business revenues as advertisement sales and shop-rental income in April. The high-speed corporation currently has to spend between NT$850 million (US$27.86 million) and NT$900 million (US$29.5 million) in operating costs and NT$1.3 billion (US$42.62 million) in interest payments monthly.

THSRC managed to, with a fare-discount campaign, boost the number of passengers to 2.5 million in April, up 10% from the preceding month. But the discount resulted in a decrease of NT$4 million (US$131,140) in ticketing revenues in April, despite the increase in passengers carried.

The THSRC will hold an annual shareholders meeting on May 30 to publicize financial statements. The company said it saw an operating loss of NT$29.398 billion (US$963.86 million), or a loss of NT$6.1 (US$0.2) per share, last year.

BOHSR director-general Pang Jar-hua noted the THSRC will see operations performance improve for the rest of this year. The company saw seat occupancy rate reach 46.5% in April, for an increase of 5.6 percentage points from the preceding month.

To facilitate operations, the THSRC has borrowed NT$65.5 billion (US$2.14 billion) in syndicated loans, which the company said would be used to offset financial deficits if needed.


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