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Convenience fees drove IRCTC’s Q2 ticketing revenue

For the quarter ended September 30, 2020, IRCTC Ltd.’s operational revenue from internet ticketing predictably fell, halving over the previous year to ₹58.29 crore. However, internet ticketing revenue increased over the previous quarter by 66%. 

Internet ticketing is a crucial segment for the company; it made up 27% of its FY20 operational revenue, just behind catering, which accounted for 45%. In the period, over 8.25 lakh tickets were booked daily on the IRCTC website and app, covering almost 72% of total reserved seats on the Indian Railways. The segment revenue is fueled by IRCTC’s convenience fee collected on each ticket booked: ₹15 and ₹30 for each non-AC and AC train ticket booked online. When all trains were cancelled in as the nationwide lockdown was announced in March end, convenience fees were not refunded along with the ticket amounts, IRCTC chair and managing director Mahendra Pratap Mall said on the company’s Q1FY20 investor call in held in July.   

For the quarter ended September 30, IRCTC collected ₹37.18 crore in convenience fees charged on online ticketing — this is 63% of Q2 internet ticketing revenue. The amount was ₹15.56 crore in Q1FY21 or 44% of internet ticketing revenue. In Q2 financials, the company added that “reliance has been placed on the management representation that unlike the previous arrangement with the Railways, there is no obligation upon the Company to share such fees earned on internet ticketing with the Indian Railways”.

The company’s 70% yearly increase in Profit After Tax (to ₹524 crore) in FY20 was primarily on account of imposition of service charge on internet ticketing, Mall had said in the company’s 21st AGM held on October 27.

In July, after the Q4FY20 earnings, Mall had estimated that internet ticketing would go up, while tourism, catering will suffer given distancing and hygiene concerns. As of July only 10-12% of the total reserved train capacity was operational. This would fall to 2% if passengers and suburban trains were included.

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Government-run IRCTC, which went public in September 2019, is essentially a travel and tourism company for the Indian Railways, specialising in rail tourism. IRCTC now offers corporate train operations, payment gateways and e-wallet, “cruise business, and data and website monetisation”. 

Financial Snapshot

  • Revenue from operations: ₹88.55 crore, down 83% YoY,  down 33% QoQ 
  • Total revenue: ₹108.72 crore, down 80% YoY, down 31% QoQ 
  • Total Comprehensive Income: ₹34.13 crore, down 65% YoY, and down 235% QoQ

Segment Revenue 

  • Catering: ₹17.16 crore, down 94% YoY, and down 81% QoQ 
  • Internet Ticketing: ₹58.29 crore, down 50% YoY, and up 66% QoQ 
  • Rail Neer: ₹9.24 crore, down 83% YoY, and up 184% QoQ 
  • Tourism: ₹3.85 crore, down 92% YoY, and up 31% QoQ 
  • State Teertha: No revenue in Q2 or Q1, revenue in Q2FY20 was ₹23.94 crore 

Segment profit/loss

  • Catering: Loss of ₹20.45 crore, down from profit of ₹29.77 crore in the same quarter of FY20, but improvement from loss of ₹48.69 crore last quarter. Down 169% YoY, and down 58% QoQ 
  • Internet Ticketing: Profit of ₹61.34 crore, down 33% YoY and up nearly 600% over last quarter 
  • Rail Neer: Loss of ₹2.26 crore, down 123% YoY and down nearly 600% QoQ 
  • Tourism: Loss of ₹8.69 crore, down 800% YoY, and up 9% over last quarter 
  • State Teertha: Nil in Q1 and Q2, profits were ₹5.73 crore in Q2FY20

IRCTC will do the booking for private trains as well, as it does not make sense for any train operator to create a new portal and booking system for dozen or so trains.

FY20 highlights

  • Catering services are now offered on in 417 passenger trains, including Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Vande Bharat, among others. 16 new food plazas and fast food units were commissioned in FY20, totaling to 293 catering units.
  • E-catering: 21,571 average meals were ordered by passengers daily
  • Rail Neer production grew 28% yearly, it caters to 55-60% of the demand of the Railways. It has 14 operational plants, out of which 9 are in public-private partnership models. Two more plants are being planned, Mall had said.

New initiative of company included captcha-based login railway complaints registration by dialing 139 and Rail Madad. IRCTC also collaborated with National Disaster Response Force for providing e-ticketing services to its personnel. The other major achievements in the field of non-railway ticketing business was launch of IPI, payment gateway for internet ticketing and development of a new user interface of IRCTC rail connect mobile app on Android platform. — Mahendra Pratap Mall, chair and managing director, IRCTC Ltd. 

Financials | Transcript of AGM on October 27 | Q1FY21 earnings call transcript  

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