Our interim report forecasts a huge deficit for the whole year
The loss of ticket revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic has severely affected our finances over the spring. Our first interim report for the year forecasts a deficit of over EUR 113 million, while our budget was prepared with an anticipated deficit of EUR 23 million.
We have assessed the loss of ticket revenue on the basis of various future scenarios. The interim report is based on an estimate that the use of public transport will gradually increase starting from late summer and ridership would be around 15 per cent below normal at the end of the year.
However, at the moment, it is very difficult to assess how the passenger numbers will develop. If our customers return to public transport at a slower rate than anticipated, or if travel decreases again, for example, due to new restrictions, the loss of ticket revenue may be considerably higher than forecasted.
The interim report estimates the operating income for 2020 to be approximately EUR 632 million, 16 per cent less than the budget. We estimate ticket revenue to amount to EUR 271 million, almost 31 per cent less than the budget. Passenger numbers are estimated to be 35 per cent below the 2019 level for the whole year.
Operating expenses are estimated to total EUR 727 million, EUR 32 million euros less than budgeted. Savings in public transport operating costs amount to EUR 27 million. The operating costs of bus services are the largest single cost item. Savings on the operating costs are expected to be EUR 17 million. The savings come from, among other things, switching to summer service earlier than usual. Investment expenditure is expected to be around three per cent below the budget because we have adjusted the schedules for various projects.
By the end of 2019, we had accumulated a surplus of EUR 69 million, but we cannot fully cover the projected deficit with the surplus from previous years. For this reason, we have sought a direct subsidy of EUR 100 million from the state for Helsinki region public transport.