MTR says protest damage around HK$1.6bn - RTHK
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MTR says protest damage around HK$1.6bn

2019-12-05 HKT 19:09
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  • MTR services were hit hard after dozens of stations came under attack from anti-government protesters. File photo: RTHK
    MTR services were hit hard after dozens of stations came under attack from anti-government protesters. File photo: RTHK
The MTR Corporation said on Thursday that months of protests in Hong Kong have cost it HK$1.6 billion so far, taking into account vandalism, lower passenger numbers, extra staff costs, as well as concessions to shop tenants.

The rail operator has been targeted by protesters who accuse it of colluding with police and working to prevent people from joining protests.

MTR services have been severely disrupted and many stations vandalised, with facilities smashed up or set on fire.

In a filing to the stock exchange, the MTR Corporation said due to the social turmoil in Hong Kong, there was a sharp drop in people using their services in September and October, compared to the same months last year.

In both months, patronage fell over 27 percent to around 130 million – down from 179 million over the same period last year.

The rail company had been running a crippled service during this period. It had closed down the entire rail network early, while some stations were shut for extended periods of time, and the Airport Express offering limited services.

The overall drop in passengers from July to November, while anti-government protests were in full swing, was around 14 percent.

The MTR Corporation warned that its underlying profit for 2019 is going to be less than last year's HK$11.3 billion, partly as a result of costs associated with the construction scandal at Hung Hom Station.