Thanks to online ticket booking service, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) posted a strong profit growth for the December quarter. Net profit from e-ticketing services jumped nearly six times to 193 crore in the quarter ended December 31 as compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

In September, 2019, IRCTC restored convenience fee charges on online tickets. A convenience fee is added every time you book a railway ticket through IRCTC official website or any other online platform. For AC coaches, the convenience fee is 30. A service fee of 15 is applicable for non-AC coaches.

On the other hand, profit from the catering segment fell to 30 crore in the December quarter as compared to 38 crore in the same period of the previous year.

Overall, IRCTC posted a net profit of 270 crore in the December quarter, as compared to 112 crore in the year-earlier quarter.

The total revenue of the subsidiary of Indian Railways rose to 715.98 crore from 435 crore in December 2018. The revenue from IRCTC e-ticket services nearly trebled to 226 crore in the October-December quarter as against 55 crore in the corresponding quarter previous year, IRCTC said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. From catering, IRCTC earned 269 crore for the December quarter which is a slight increase from the last quarter's revenue.

In October, IRCTC had introduced India's first private train Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express. Passengers can book tickets in Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express via IRCTC website or its mobile app or any travel portal. There are no booking at railway reservation counters.

IRCTC is all set to launch its third private train Kashi Mahakal Express that will run between Varanasi to Indore. The train will start its operation from February 20.

Continuing their strong show since market debut in October, IRCTC shares today surged as much as 13.5% to hit a new high of 1,609.30 in intraday trade on BSE amid a weak Mumbai market. The government held 87.40% stake in the Railways subsidiary as of quarter ending December 2019 while mutual funds held 4.78% stake and foreign portfolio investors 1.99%.

Monopoly business and low floating stock are some of the reasons attributed by analysts for the strong run in IRCTC shares.

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