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Zermatt Bergbahnen AG – a new beginning

The tenth Annual General Meeting of Zermatt Bergbahnen AG was held in Zermatt today. Despite the difficult economic situation and the euro crisis, the company can look back on a successful, though not always easy, year.

Currency crunch and economic crisis

Despite a constant stream of bad news from the euro zone regarding the solvency of certain countries, as well as the deteriorating currency situation, which saw a plunge in the value of key currencies such as the euro, US dollar and sterling, the company closed the financial year with what can only be described as a good result. With revenues in the summer season almost on a par with the previous year, and a 1% decrease in winter revenues compared with the winter of 2009/10, the company generated operating income of CHF 64.1 million – a good result in itself, but quite outstanding when compared with the sector as whole. In addition to its goal of maintaining long-term cash flow at a minimum of CHF 25 million and driving the debt ratio down to 60% or lower, the company faces an additional challenge in the continuing negative currency situation, the magnitude of which should not be underestimated.

Working together for the future of Zermatt
Price reductions and all-inclusive offers on lifts and cableways are among the big talking points when it comes to proposals for action to overcome the present difficulties. However, if Zermatt is to remain attractive for visitors in the medium to long term, ongoing investments are a must – and these can only be made when the necessary resources are available. It is essential that we act together, rather than arguing over individual measures and pointing the finger of blame. Togetherness from start to finish. Zermatt has unique attractions to offer all round. Our task is to highlight these and sell them with pride. Where else can you find four different mountains for excursions, Europe’s highest cableway station, skiing 365 days of the year, restaurants with a total of 233 Gault-Millau points and top-class hotels? In Zermatt, and only in Zermatt.
Change at the top
After nine highly successful years – which saw the operational merger of four companies, more than CHF 300 million invested, 115 planning applications, the construction of 12 new mountain railway facilities and countless kilometres of snow pipelines, the realization of two truly pioneering projects in the Matterhorn glacier paradise restaurant & shop and the Snowmaker, and much more besides – Christen Baumann took his well-earned retirement, stepping down on 31 May 2011. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to him for his commitment to the company and the resort, and for his work over the years. Without his clear stance, his ability to focus on essentials and his tact in dealing with staff, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG would not be the model company among Swiss mountain railway operators that it is today. Markus Hasler took charge of operations as the new chief executive of Zermatt Bergbahnen AG on 1 June 2011. He has accepted a new challenge in Zermatt after a successful spell as CEO of Bergbahnen Brigels-Waltensburg-Andiast AG. He has already settled in very well and the Board of Directors wishes him every success in tackling the considerable challenges that face the company in the years ahead.

New image – same tried and trusted services
For over a year now, Zermatt has been working on a joint marketing platform with the Cervinia/Valtournenche region in Italy. The objective is to present the Matterhorn ski paradise as a an integral whole, thereby increasing its visibility and enhancing its image in the public eye. The new logo was presented to shareholders today. It is planned to implement the new branding in the coming winter season to give the Cervinia/Valtournenche region and Zermatt Bergbahnen AG a modern image as a united brand.
For further information, pictures and footage, please contact: Markus Hasler, CEO, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG 
+41 (0)27 966 0101

Geschäftsbericht 2010_2011
(38 Seiten, 3MB)

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