CZ Loko, a locomotive manufacturer, based in Česká Třebová, recorded double-digit growth last year despite the coronavirus pandemic. In the financial year from the beginning of October 2019 to the end of last September, the company reported revenues of 2.8 billion crowns, a year-on-year increase of thirteen percent. According to the annual report, the profit also jumped over one hundred million crowns for the first time in history.
CZ Loko’s profits before tax were 108 million crowns, which represents a roughly 17 percent year-on-year increase. According to the company, the result is mainly due to long-term contracts that provide enough work for at least the next two years. However, keeping production running was also crucial for the record financial result, says Jan Kutálek, the company’s sales director.
However, CZ Loko did not avoid problems with the pandemic. “Every day, new and new issues related to COVID-19 are born. Once resolved, more will come the next day. It’s extremely frustrating, “Kutálek admitted in October. According to him, the coronary crisis complicates both the delivery of finished locomotives to customers and the components taken for production.
This year, the new plant in Jihlava for 86 million crowns could help further the company’s further development. “It was approved in December, and now the production is almost full there. As a result, capacity will increase by about 20 percent, which will subsequently be reflected in efficiency, “says Kutálek, adding that he expects a roughly similar result in the current financial year as last year.
In the longer term, the company intends to focus on new technologies. “We feel a significant interest in locomotives with alternative propulsion. The farthest project is the DualShunter 2000 hybrid locomotive, the prototype of which could be launched in 2023,” emphasizes Kutálek.
The new locomotive can combine different energy sources; it will include an internal combustion engine and complete traction equipment for driving under power lines.
The majority owner of CZ Loko, with a 51 percent stake, is the company’s founder Josef Bárta, the rest is held by the Czech branch of the German engineering group Zeppelin. The company employs about 760 people in its facilities in Česká Třebová and Jihlava and its service centers in Lovosice, Mladá Boleslav, Letohrad, and Ostrava. It has subsidiaries in Poland and Italy.
CZ Loko is a few larger domestic engineering companies with a Czech majority and its development. Its portfolio includes diesel shunting locomotives and special rail vehicles.