Financial boost for post, lottery and rail
21 May 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgium’s beleaguered public services could be on the up, according to the latest figures released by the Minister for Public Companies Johan Vande Lanotte.
The post office’s turnover for the first three months of this year was EUR 539 million compared to EUR 513 million the same time last year. Profits almost tripled, from EUR 6.2 million to EUR 45.4 million.
The improvement is partly due to the increase in stamp prices – but also due to the comeback of sending mail through the post. Takings for letters and parcels climbed from EUR 46 million to EUR 358 million.
Vande Lanotte said although the first three months was always the post office’s best time of year, he had high hopes the public company would break even in 2004.
Rail company SNCB also recorded better results for the same period. An extra 4.2 percent of passengers boarded its trains and made an extra total of 1.68 million trips.
Multiple journey tickets saw the biggest increase in sales – up by 14 percent – with overall takings up by 7.7.
However, the latest figures won’t be enough to absorb SNCB’s extensive debts.
Vande Lanotte’s figures also confirm the Belgians still enjoy gambling – the National Lottery’s turnover was up by 6 percent.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news