NS fined €5.5 million despite improvements; posts €180m profit
State Secretary Wilma Mansveld (Infrastructure and Environment) has decided to fine NS 5.5 million euro because the company did not sufficiently fulfill the performance agreements made with the government. In 2013 Mansveld imposed a provisional fine of 2.75 million euros on NS because the railway company did not meet all agreements in that year. The fine could be waived if NS sufficiently improved its performance in 2014. According to Mansveld, this did not happen and NS therefore has to pay this fine. Mansveld also fined NS an additional 2.75 million euros for 2014. Last year 92 percent of travelers were on time. This is a 2 percent increase compared to 2013, but travelers were still dissatisfied with the punctuality of the trains. NS also improved the travel information in trains and on stations and travelers felt safer on the trains compared to the previous year. However, travelers felt that the trains were too busy during rush hour and that they had too small a chance of finding a seat or encountering a conductor. NS reached 9 of the 13 performance targets of 2014. NS also announced its annual figures in a press release posted on its website today. The turnover for the company amounted to 4.1 billion euros in 2014 (3.9 billion euros in 2013), with a profit of more than 180 million euro after tax. The underlying operating profit amounted to 84 million euros. NS considers this insufficient and states that this will put the company under additional pressure this year because of increased costs and substantial investments in things like new trains, IT and maintenance workshops. In this year NS will continue to make use of turnstiles to improve safety and reduce the number of freeloaders. The company also aims to have 50 percent of its trains operate on green energy this year and 100 percent from 2018.