The previous operating period ended on the positive note for SŽ – VIT – the company reported an operating result of €307 thousand, with operating revenues and expenses totalling €113.8m and €113.4m, respectively. Revenues from sales in 2016 show a year-on- year increase of 8.7%, in which foreign sales accounted for more than a fifth, or 20.9%.
Throughout the year under review, we successfully provided the required levels of rail vehicle availability and supplied traction and technical services to our biggest partners in the SŽ Group, SŽ Cargo and SŽ Passenger. We supplied rail maintenance services to companies in the SŽ Group, as well as to non-SŽ customers. In 2016, foreign sales broke the €10m mark – most were generated by wheel- set services, with freight wagon maintenance coming in second – and accounted for almost 20% of the sales generated from maintenance services, or almost 10% of total sales.
The 2016 witnessed our breakthrough in locomotive maintenance supplied to foreign keepers for units operating on the Slovenian network. To make sure locomotives leased-out to carriers are fit to run in real time, access to local workshops is as crucial as low vehicle downtime and quality maintenance when it comes to selecting the right maintenance supplier. Through a full-service approach and custom- made solutions, we have demonstrated our ability to respond to foreign keepers’ servicing needs and successfully established our status as a reliable and trust-worthy partner in this field of rail maintenance.
Good results were also reported in sales of technical services to rail carriers throughout the Slovenian network and at border points, largely owing to our 24-hour technical assistance.
The projects completed in the past year showed that customers were satisfied with our service, and are the proof of our growing competitiveness and positioning on the European market.
This year started off with work in full swing and production almost at capacity. Regular customers that have been with us for long years have chosen to continue their support in 2017, deepening our existing collaboration and bringing the partnership to the next level. Despite things being as busy as ever, this does not stop us from being active on the European market, where we are always on the search for new business opportunities.
The main portion of our portfolio is dedicated to providing a complete support to Slovenske železnice (SŽ) when it comes to maintenance of rolling stock and their components. In addition, we continue to offer tailor-made maintenance solutions and supply services on request to our customers outside SŽ Group, such as VPI- compliant overhauls of freight wagons and wheel-sets, which filled the capacities in both Dobova and Ptuj Centre.
Our biggest potential currently lies in increasing control checks and minor repairs of freight wagons and electric locomotives, as well as on-site train repairs. We have started boosting our market presence and brand recognition in these fields to bring them on par with our presence in wheel-set and freight wagon maintenance.
As we further enhance our cooperation with both foreign customers and SŽ, we recognise the need for continuous improvement in the sense of optimising work processes, ensuring investment in machinery and equipment, and staff training. To this aim, several investment projects were carried out in the previous year to improve the conditions of work and secure the assets necessary to supply one-stop-shop solutions at the highest quality possible, and we intend on continuing this trend in 2017, as well.
Having purchased a floor mounted bogie rotator for Class 541 locomotives, we are now able to supply this type of maintenance at our own workshop. Moreover, Ptuj Centre has recently been upgraded to offer wheel-set shrink-fitting for Pendolino trains, and is one of the few workshops in Europe with the facilities, skills and equipment necessary to handle un/mounting of compact tapered roller bearing units (CTBU). The shop has also received an additional wheel-set sandblasting booth and a designated zone with rails where incoming wheel-sets are deposited to, and has a maintenance hall and testing device for drive units in the works due for completion this year to boost our overhaul services. Upgrades were also made at Dobova Centre, which opened a new entrance-exit hall with an illuminated passageway, a new wagon sandblasting booth, and a new slack adjuster maintenance hall with a certified crew of technicians on the job. These improvements will help us offer a more complete service at higher quality, in turn enhancing our presence on the greater European market.
Much like the year before, we will work hard to complete our orders, honour our contract obligations and meet customer’s needs in maintenance. In particular, we will do our best to again demonstrate we are a partner you can count on, offering services as reliable as they are quality. Almost every day, we host visits from our customers and independent certification authorities for annual certification, showing we’re on the right track, and must keep up the efforts to further improve.
SŽ – VIT's mission is to provide quality and effective services when it comes to rail vehicle maintenance, train traction and technical wagon services.
SŽ − VIT: VITal News 2019. On the right track: it is almost halfway through 2019, and the past year's business performance is still a hot topic.
Our wheelset overhaul shop in Ptuj is now able to undertake shrink-fitting of wheelsets, which is typical for newer types of locomotives and passenger trains.
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