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RVR money train grows

An RVR coach/ File

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 26 – Rift Valley Railways (RVR) has recorded a notable improvement in their fourth quarter operations with an 8.6 percent and 8.5 percent increase in freight business in Kenya and Uganda respectively, compared to fourth quarter results for 2010.

In a year-on-year comparison, RVR moved a growing figure of 1.6 million tons of cargo in the 2010/2011 financial year. A 4.8 percent increase on the 1. 5 million tons recorded in 2010.

The improvement surpassed their annual projections by two percent.

RVR Chief Executive Officer Brown Ondego, attributed the positive growth to import volumes coupled with improved operational performance and safe cargo handling, adding that RVR had potential to perform even better.

“We are currently operating in a very fickle economy with first time double digit inflation rates and a slowing economic growth rate. We are now prioritising changing the current cargo mix by targeting high yield cargo as a way to maximise our revenues,” he said.

He added that freight represents 93 percent of RVR’s business, with seven percent generated by commuter and mainline services at six and one percent respectively.
The passenger service is currently only available in Kenya.

RVR Kenya reported a 21 percent increase in the number of passengers during the last quarter, recording two million passengers against 1. 5 million in the same period of the 2009/2010 year.

In March this year, Rift Valley Railways increased the number of daily commuter services from 8 to 14, also launching a new route from the Nairobi central business district to Athi River.

“The improved operational performance for the fourth quarter comes at a very strategic time when RVR is preparing to sign the capital financing deal with the African Development Bank which recently approved a Sh3.6 trillion loan,” Ondego remarked.

RVR was founded in 2006 and has been granted a 25-year mandate to operate railway services on 2,000 kilometers of track linking the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa in Kenya with the interiors of both Kenya and Uganda, including Kampala.

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RVR is co-owned by Egypt’s Citadel Capital, TransCentury and Bomi Holdings.

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