SJ profits rise again

Swedish train operator SJ saw profits continue to rise in 2006, meaning the company's owner, the Swedish state, can expect to receive a bumper dividend.

In its annual report, published on Tuesday, the company said its net profits stood at 605 million kronor in 2006. The previous year profits stood at 484 million kronor. Turnover last year stood at 6.9 billion kronor, up from 5.7 billion in 2005.

The company’s board has proposed a dividend of 37.50 kronor a share, or a total of 150 million kronor.

The results cement SJ’s turnaround from a position of near-bankruptcy several years ago. Then, the company was saved after the government pumped in extra money. The continued improvement for SJ was put down to other factors:

“Aggressive price cuts, the environmental benefits of trains and a range of new product offerings have led to a record 9 percent increase in travel,” SJ wrote in a press release.

SJ sold two million more journeys in 2006 than in 2005. The good results led SJ to pay a bonus of 10,000 kronor per employee in December’s pay packet.