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National Rating Agency Raises an Individual Solvency Rating of Aeroexpress to "A" Level on a National Scale

May 20, 2012

Today, Aeroexpress is the sole operator of the high-speed railway network for carrying passengers between airports and central railway stations in Moscow and Sochi, as well as commuter passenger transportation in the town of Lobnya near Moscow. According to 2011 statistics, the share of passengers travelling with Aeroexpress averaged about 22%, exceeding last year’s result by about 2%.

The systematically designed and implemented strategy for improving the quality of passenger services, together with an effective price-formation policy and diversification of sales channels, have had a positive impact on the company’s operating activities. In 2011, a total of 14.04 million passengers travelled on Aeroexpress trains, representing a 22% increase over last year’s 11.46 million. Passenger traffic grew on average by 30% per year in 2010-2011. The stable growth of passenger traffic has also had a positive impact on the company’s key financial indicators: revenues increased by 36% compared to 2010 to reach 3.6 billion rubles, while net income rose by almost 3 times to reach 0.7 billion roubles at the end of 2011. Profitability ratios are high and, at the end of 2011, represented 54% of the gross profit margin, 39% of the return on sales, and 20% of the net margin.

In early 2012, the company successfully placed a bonded debt for 5 years with a coupon rate of 11% per annum with a frequency of coupon payments of 182 days. The total cost of the securities that were actually placed amounted to 3.053 billion rubles. The main bond owners in the initial public offering were Sberbank of Russia (about 1.23 billion rubles) and TransCreditBank (about 1.75 billion rubles).

The company has a positive credit history; liabilities are promptly and fully discharged.

The Aeroexpress strategy implies not only the continuous development and improvement of existing services’ quality, but also participation in new projects for promising lines of development (in Sochi for traffic between Olympic venues, as well as in Vladivostok, Pulkovo and Kazan).

“The rating upgrade reflects the company's leading position in the intermodal passenger transportation segment, the high growth rates of operating and financial indicators, according to 2010 and 2011 statistics, and an acceptable level of debt burden, as well as good prospects for development, taking into account the available resources and technological base.

All of these factors, together with a high level of corporate management, effective financial management, and a strong shareholder structure support the company’s high reliability level and provide the basis for its further development in the foreseeable future”, commented analysts from the National Rating Agency. Reference.

The National Rating Agency (NRA) has been operating since 2000 and is one of the leading independent rating agencies in Russia. Currently, the NRA has customers, in terms of assigning contact ratings, which include more than 200 legal entities. More than 800 companies and banks are involved in other NDA informational projects, the materials of which are published regularly in the media, on the agency's website and on social networks.

The NRA is included in the List of Accredited Agencies by the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. The NRA ratings are officially recognised by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, Vnesheconombank, the Federal Financial Markets Service, the State Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO), the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending (AHML), the RTS and MICEX stock exchanges, the National Association of Securities Market Participants (NAUFOR), the National Securities Market Association (NSMA), the National League of Managers (NLU), and the Association of Russian Banks (ARB).

The NRA has a subsidiary partner agency in Ukraine (the Independent Rating Agency) and has been a member of the European Association of Credit Rating Agencies (EACRA) since 2011.

Since 2008, the NRA adheres to the Code of Professional Ethics for Russian Rating Agencies, affirmed by the Board of NSMA.