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the latest result of the company line, which meets from the railway Act of August 2014 SNCF Mobility and Network display a historic loss for the sector in France of more than 11 billion euros .
- a “operation truth” about the accounts that is not a first
the extent of impairment is not so unusual that in this sector. In 2008, SNCF network, then called Réseau Ferré de France (RFF), had depreciated by 9 billion euros the value of the rail network, before reassess a year later 10 billion. The TGV fleet has also been depreciated in 2011 and 2014.
In 2015, the depreciation of 12 billion is divided between the two entities of the public group. Mobility SNCF decided to write some 2.5 billion assets, primarily the TGV and train stations, while Network depreciates his 9.6 billion.
“These impairments are mere accounting entries. They have no practical impact. They do not change a euro or on the budget in 2016 or the following, specify in an interview with Echos, Guillaume Pepy, Chairman of SNCF Mobility and Jacques Rapoport, the resigned Network. They are the result of accounting standards that apply to all companies to measure the financial return of an asset, but are declined badly in the case of a public monopoly like ours. “
- the decline in the profitability of the TGV branch
for the TGV, despite a recovery in passenger numbers to 0, 5% in 2015, the financial future of this traditionally profitable remains dark. Due to competition from low-cost airline, bus or carpool, traffic forecasts down.
To counter this trend, SNCF will stabilize the average price of leisure passengers, multiplying “small price” and offers at low cost, such as “TGV Ouigo”. In short, the profitability of this sector should at best stabilize at around 10%, against over 25% in early TGV
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the accounting result is a drop in the price of the TGV Centre. The company decided to depreciate in 2015, one billion euros. Similarly, the opening of the new high speed line between Tours and Bordeaux in 2017 – that the SNCF plans already in deficit – pushes it to depreciate the new trains recently purchased another billion …
After three impairments (2011, 2014 and 2015), the TGV park worth 1.6 billion euros in the accounts, instead of 5.9 billion. “This book is reversible computing says Mr Pepy, if the margins of the business are improving and have no impact on our development or on the future of train equipment . “
Meanwhile, stations and connections, the subsidiary in charge of stations, decided to write to € 450 million assets, following a decision of the Arafer, the authority of railway regulation, which required it to revise down its tariffs for the use of such equipment.
- lower revenues for railways
But the bulk of the impairment of assets in 2015 relates SNCF network. In 2015, the value of railways is estimated at 33 billion euros, against 43 billion a year earlier, a write shift some 10 billion euros.
This new value s’ largely explained by the meeting of two public companies that have harmonized their projections and traffic and tolls on the next fifteen years.
“the former RFF tended to be very optimistic by providing a toll increase, and therefore its medium-term revenue, when the train was much more cautious and conservative with increasing modal competition between carpooling and buses for the passenger or truck for freight decrypts a spokesman for the group. By recalculating earnings assumptions downwards, the overall value of assets fell sharply. “
- The future borrowings would be affected
If it is not certainly challenge the budget SNCF network, this depreciation could still affect in the future the infrastructure manager’s ability to borrow
in fact, the network of debt. – 34 billion euros – is refinanced each year to 6 billion from banks, often foreign.
a depreciation of the asset, even if it belongs to the state, which can weigh negatively in negotiating with its creditors.
- other impairments are not excluded
in the future, SNCF network is not immune to further depreciation of its assets. The 1 st March the Arafer refused to confirm the increase in toll rates was asked of him for the year 2017. Similarly, the transport policeman demanded to see SNCF Network background by height in 2018 how to set tariffs, now considered too important on TGV.
“If SNCF network would lower the price of high speed tolls, it would hurt investment and network maintenance, and therefore its value. However, it would benefit SNCF Mobility, which would find the financial leeway for such decrease prices to the public “, notes one observer
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in short, what must promote the maintenance and renewal of the network paid by users and public authorities or TGV affordable? The unanswerable question is at the heart of the current rail crisis.