Economy: SNCF returns to the green

On good track. SNCF is doing well, even better, with a profit of 928 million euros precisely between January and June, after a deficit of 780 million over the same period last year. Turnover – a reflection of activity before paying all charges – thus reached 20 billion euros, up nearly 30% over one year.

The SNCF Voyageurs branch represents 8.5 billion euros in revenue (+36% over one year), driven by the desire to leave after two years of restrictions of all kinds. This year, the trains are crowded, travelers got there very early to book. Rail is also in tune with the times, in particular for its lighter environmental footprint than the car; without forgetting the prices, which are less expensive at a time of soaring fuel prices.

Next to that, there is the logistics branch. The SNCF is now much more than a passenger carrier. It is also the transfer of goods and messaging with Geodis which weighs 6.7 billion euros, a figure up by almost 70% compared to 2019, the pre-crisis. Without forgetting the diversification of the group, with Keolis, the international subsidiary of the SNCF which operates the bus, metro, tram, bicycle and parking networks as far away as Quebec.

The continuation of the recovery depends, in fact, on the situation after the summer. Several questions thus remain unanswered, such as the evolution of the war in Ukraine, the evolution of the Covid pandemic or even inflation, because many SNCF service providers have planned to increase their prices. The railway company will have to amortize the costs and the State is helping it greatly with the assumption of 35 billion euros in debt to date, which allows the group to save on repayment interest.

As for the rise in the price of tickets for travellers, SNCF is reassuring for the time being, but didn’t the president of the company, Jean-Pierre Farandou, recently declare that his company was one of the biggest consumers of electricity? A meaningful phrase that could become a scarecrow in 2023. Finally, Jean-Pierre Farandou, who is halfway through his term, has one last issue to settle as soon as possible: that of the proper functioning of the SNCF-Connect reservation site. When will the bugs end?

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