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Crossrail operator MTR powered ahead by Hong Kong commuter route

The global train company that will run London’s Crossrail has reported a huge rise in sales after the first full year running a major Hong Kong commuter line.
MTR, which last year won the contract with partner First Group to run trains between London Waterloo and the South West, saw sales rise more than a fifth to ?5bn after taking on the South Island Line in Hong Kong, where the company is based.
This led to a more than 11pc leap in adjusted post-tax profits to ?965m, thanks to other recent contracts such as the Citybanan rail link in central Stockholm, Sweden.
MTR previously ran London Overground services as part of a joint venture between 2007 and 2016 but has recently increased its presence in UK rail.
Crossrail operator MTR powered ahead by Hong Kong commuter route

MTR and First Group run the joint venture behind the Waterloo-based South Western Railway

Credit:
PA/Victoria Jones
The company will run Crossrail, which will be named the Elizabeth Line when it opens in December this year, and also runs TfL Rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.
As part of its successful bid for the South Western franchise, the company will invest ?1.2bn in upgrading trains on the line and other improvements. Its entry into long-distance services in the UK marked the continuation of a growing trend within the country’s rail industry of foreign operators winning franchise contracts.
UK-based companies have bemoaned the wafer thin margins they are being asked to run rail contracts on and so are increasingly pairing up with other companies or exiting the industry altogether. Last year National Express sold its only remaining rail franchise, the Essex to London c2c, to state-backed operator Trenitalia.
Listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, MTR has a market capitalisation of approximately ?27bn. Outside of the UK, it runs services in Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden, operates lines in Chinese cities including Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou and will shortly be running the Sydney Metro Northwest in Australia, where it also runs services in Melbourne.
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