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Georgian Railway Reports GEL 145m Net Profit
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 Jan.'12 / 23:57

The state-owned Georgian Railway LLC reported a 43% rise in 2011 net profit on January 9.

Net profit for 2011 totaled GEL 145 million (about USD 86.9 million) versus  GEL 101.5 million a year earlier, according to the company's CEO and chairman of board of directors Irakli Ezugbaia.

The company said its 2011 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was GEL 272 million (about USD 163 million) - 33% increase from a year earlier.

The Georgian Railway, which is wholly owned by the government and which is the country's one of the largest taxpayers and employers, dominating Georgia's freight transportation sector, issued eurobonds worth of USD 250 million with five year maturity in July, 2010.

The company said it was in the position to proceed with implementation of one of its key investment projects, involving development of by-pass railway in Tbilisi, without taking additional loans.

In March, 2010 European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed to provide the Georgian Railway EUR 100 million loan to fund a new double track railway route 10 km north of Tbilisi to divert rail traffic around the center of the capital city - re-routing the rail traffic will free more than 70 hectares of land in the city center for urban development projects. It was, however, reported in November, 2011 that the Georgian Railway would pursue construction of by-bass route without EBRD's loan.

In December, 2011 the credit rating agency Fitch raised the Georgian Railway's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings one notch to BB-.

The Georgian government was planning to launch initial public offering for minority stakes of some of the major state-owned enterprises, including of the Georgian Railway, last year. The government, however, decided to delay the move, citing “grave situation on the international stock markets.”

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