Financial statements 2021: passenger numbers at all-time low
The COVID-19 pandemic affected our finances also last year. The use of public transport decreased and our fare revenue fell nearly EUR 20 million short of the budget.
The year 2021 was still dismal for public transport. In the second year of the pandemic, with various restrictions still in place, travel hit an all-time low. Travel by public transport was down 40 percent, i.e. about 160 million journeys, compared to 2019.
In 2021, a total of 237.6 million journeys were made on our transport services. Fare revenue amounted to EUR 235.3 million, EUR 19.8 million below the budget.
A deficit of EUR 79.1 million was projected in the budget, but due to the state COVID-19 subsidy of EUR 86.7 million for fare revenue losses, we ran a surplus of EUR 10.4 million.
“The continuing uncertainty and significantly lower level of fare revenue are challenging our economy,” says Executive Director Mika Nykänen. “At the same time, both operating costs and infrastructure compensations are increasing sharply. The situation must be remedied and there is increasing pressure to significantly increase passenger prices or to cut service levels, or likely both.”
The share of fare revenue of operating income continued to decrease
Our operating income for the financial year totaled 733.4 million euros. Fare revenue accounted for 32.1 percent and municipal contributions of our member municipalities for 53 percent of operating income. In 2020, fare revenue accounted for 36.6 percent and municipal contributions for 51.9 percent of operating income.
We received EUR 109.6 million in subsidies and grants. In addition to the state COVID-10 subsidy, we received EUR 4.8 million in in public transport subsidies for large cities and EUR 7.1 million in support for climate-based measures linked to MAL agreements. Ticket inspection revenue amounted to EUR 3.8 million.
Operating costs lower than budgeted
Operating expenses were in total EUR 706 million, EUR 18.6 million or 2.6 percent below the budget.
Service purchase expenses accounted for EUR 673.4 million or 95.4 percent of operating expenses, with public transport operating costs being the largest item. We paid a total of EUR 499.6 million to transport operators, which accounted for 70.8 per cent of our total operating expenses.
Savings in operating costs amounted to EUR 15 million or 2.9 percent compared to the budget.
In the 2021 financial year, we paid our member municipalities EUR 139.2 million in infrastructure compensation. In addition, we paid EUR 1.7 million for the acquisition of charging infrastructure for electric buses. The significant increase in the electric bus fleet over the financial year exceeded the budget by EUR 0.3 million.
Expenses other than the operating and infrastructure costs totaled EUR 65.4 million, EUR 3.9 million less than budgeted.
Investment expenses amounted to EUR 11.7 million, falling EUR 5.6 million below the budget due to the postponement of certain projects and changes to the compensation structure for tendered train services.