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Dec 04, 2007 17:41 EEST
ZAGREB (Croatia), December 4 (SeeNews) – State-owned Croatian Railways (HZ) said on Tuesday it plans to invest 2.7 billion kuna ($540 million/370 million euro) in infrastructure and its fleet next year, up from 1.56 billion kuna pencilled in for this year, and expects a further rise in revenue from the transport of passengers and cargo.
"We are pleased with our performance this year and growth in almost all segments," CEO Davorin Kobak told a news conference.
Croatian Railways expects a 10% rise to 1.16 billion kuna in revenue from the transport of passengers and cargo this year, and further growth to 1.21 billion kuna in 2008.
According to preliminary figures, the number of passengers it transported this year rose by 32% to around 61 million, while cargo rose 5.0% to about 17.8 million tonnes.
The company’s total revenue this year is put at 3.56 billion kuna and costs at 3.48 billion kuna. Comparative figures for last year were not immediately available.
The investment plans for 2008 include a 95 million kuna upgrade of cargo wagons, the purchase of 60 new cargo wagons for some 39 million kuna, the purchase of passenger wagons through tenders and 60 million euro to buy new locomotives.
Under a national plan for development of the railway infrastructure from 2008 to 2012, which has still to be approved by parliament, 12.6 billion kuna will be invested in Croatia’s railways infrastructure, including 7.7 billion kuna in modernisation and 4.9 billion kuna in the construction of new rails. The largest part of the funding will come from the state budget but some is expected to come from European Union pre-accession funds.
The Adriatic country of 4.4 million people started EU accession talks in October 2005 and hopes to join the union by the end of the decade.
(1 euro=7.3300 Croatian kuna)
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