Latvian Railway (LDZ) in 2009 succeeded in not only to maintain the volume of freight traffic almost in 2008 year level, which was a record year for LDZ freight history, but also to maintain a positive financial performance: the group's net turnover last year was 284 million lats per year, but profit 5.9 million lats, while the group's liquidity ratio, according to 2009 financial performance is 1,25.
Last year in the state budget in taxes LDZ paid 69.38 million lats, of which 31.78 million lats were the social insurance contributions, 17.35 million lats were the personal income tax and 16.76 million lats - the excise tax.
In 2009, the company celebrated its 90-years anniversary, maintained record volumes of freight transportation and prepared the largest rail infrastructure construction project - the second track construction phase in Skrīveri-Krustpils direction. Ugis Magonis, LDZ Chairman of the Board said: "Last year we kept the volume of traffic near 2008 level, which set a record in freight volume. For the past year, we can be proud of containers transport, as it reached a historical record, but this year's results suggest that container traffic this year will exceed last year's figures. "
The good performance of freight traffic showed that the need to improve infrastructure in Belarus-Latvia border ( Latvian and EU's external border) in those years exceeded the allowable capacity of the infrastructure. Therefore, last year with EU support LDZ built in this district a second track along which the traffic has already begun.
The company last year completed all preparations for one of the most significant new construction projects LDZ's history - the second track construction phase between Skrīveri and Krustpils, 52 kilometres long, - to be implemented by acquiring EU funds. In the future this will allow to increase freight volumes in East-West corridor and to develop an important sector of the transit traffic between the EU and East neighbours.
"We - LDZ - have repeatedly emphasized, that we very carefully and wisely treat the investment policy, namely, investing only when we know for sure, when we’ll receive back the invested money. The current development of transportation industry enables us to look into the future with optimism and to invest with assurance that we can recover the investment, "says U. Magonis.
Latvian Railway (LDZ) concern is the largest Latvian company by number of employees, the largest social tax payer and rightly regarded as the Latvian transit busyness backbone, which, in cooperation with the three largest ice-free Latvian ports, provides a stable flow of transit throughout the year. Most part of the movement - more than 99% - are foreign shippers and consignees, which ensures the country a considerable service exports and hence revenues.
Last year, LDZ reconstructed 74.8 km of track, 60 turnouts performed kit replacement, 32.5 km of track were carried out so-called "B" type of track repairs, which provides the track maintenance without capital repairs. Implementation stage of the project on the automatic train system upgrade has started, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
LDZ in 2009 has marked substantial and very significant anniversary – on the 5th of August the company celebrated its 90 years. In honour of this important event in the history of railway LDZ released a book dedicated to Latvian Railways. It is available in bookshops in Latvian, Russian and English languages and has become highly sought. The stamp series dedicated to the history of LDZ were jointly designed in cooperation with Latvian Post, while in cooperation with the production company “Labvakar” (Good evening) a documentary film “Track belt”, devoted to the railway history, together with Latvia and Latvian folk history was released.
In honour of LDZ-90 an international scientific-research conference “Latvian Railways: Past, Present, Future” was organized last March in Riga Castle. It was attended by rail investigators and experts from the Baltic countries, Russia, as well as from different international organizations.
Last year in July every Wednesday in Latvian Railway History Museum were held “ Museum Long Evenings”, which became a holiday for people of all ages with many musical group's performances and safety hours in electric train. In one of such evenings in honour of the anniversary LDZ presented the restored narrow gauge railway steam locomotive ML 657, which is one of the most remarkable exhibits.
Latvian Railway concern is composed of the prevailing company JSC Latvian Railway and four subsidiaries - SIA LDZ Cargo, which deals with rail freight services, infrastructure construction company LDZ Infrastructure, rolling stock repair company LDZ Rolling Stock Service, as well as the security company LDZ Security.