China State Railway Group (China Railway) [601390:CH] published its financial results for 2020, recording RMB1.07tr in revenue, declining 7.76% YoY, while the net loss hit RMB55.5bn compared to a net profit of RMB2.52bn in 2019, as reported by Eastmoney on May 2. Meanwhile, the group also announced that its businesses recovered rapidly in 1Q21 when the company achieved RMB227.0bn in revenue and RMB59.9bn in passenger ticket sales, soaring up 19.6% and 32.3%, respectively, owing to the low base during the same period of last year and the rebounded demand for railway transportation in China.
China Railway sent 2.17bn passengers in 2020, slashing 39.4% YoY due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the railway freight volume still climbed up 4.07% YoY to 3.58bn tons last year, compared to a 7.2% YoY growth in 2019. In the first quarter of 2021, the group sent 529m passengers and delivered 923m tons of cargos through railways, jumping 39.95% and 12.01% YoY, respectively. However, the passenger traffic volume was still 36.8% less than the capacity of 1Q19, indicating considerable room for growth during the rest of the year. By the end of 2020, China Railway’s total debts rose 4.01% YoY to RMB5.71tr with the asset-liability ratio maintained at a high level of 65.63%. Citing China Railway President, Lu Dongfu, China’s high-speed railway mileage is expected to increase by 12,100 km to 50,000 km over the next five years, less than the rise of 14,000km from 2011 to 2015 and 18,100 km from 2016 to 2020, in a move to prevent debt risks.