Sat, Jun 23, 2012 - Page 14 News List

THSRC seeks longer franchise period to refinance its debts

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

While Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) swung into profit last year for the first time in its five years of operation, the company still faces accumulated losses of NT$67.7 billion (US$2.26 billion), accounting for more than half of its paid-in capital of NT$105.32 billion.

To help reduce its losses, THSRC yesterday asked the government to extend its 35-year franchise period with a better refinancing program, a company statement said.

THSRC said its net income was NT$5.78 billion for last year, compared with the net loss of NT$1.21 billion it registered a year earlier. Revenue expanded 16.65 percent to NT$32.24 billion from NT$27.64 billion in 2010 on growing passenger traffic and improved refinancing program.

THSRC said the number of passengers rose 12.7 percent to 41.63 million last year from the 36.94 million recorded a year earlier, company data showed.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was NT$22.73 billion, up 22.34 percent from NT$18.58 billion in 2010, while earnings before tax, depreciation and amortization (EBTDA) was NT$14.02 billion, up 44.54 percent from NT$9.7 billion the year before, THSRC said.

“It proves that THSRC is capable of making money if the company is treated with better loan rates, as well as reasonable depreciation and amortization requirements,” THSRC chairman Ou Chin-der (歐晉德) said.

With an extended franchise period, the company’s depreciation cost could be amortized and repaid over a longer period of time, he said.

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