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Germany: Deutsche Bahn Releases Revenue and Passenger Numbers for the First Half of 2018

Deutsche Bahn-First Half of 2018 Financial Report
© Deutsche Bahn AG

Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) has published its figures for revenue, passenger numbers and investment in Germany during the first half of 2018. The figures, from January to June, also cover the activities of DB Cargo, DB Arriva and DB Schenker.

Firstly, DB announced that passenger numbers on its long-distance trains rose by 3.8% to 70.9 million in the first half of 2018. Adjusted revenues also increased during the same period by 2.3% to 21.5 billion euros. The company expects its total revenue for 2018 to be 44 billion euros.

Dr Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG, said:

“People are more mobile than ever before. For more and more people, rail is becoming the key to an effective climate change fight and a successful transition to sustainable transport.”

Lutz also explained that fostering digitalisation and launching new services and mobility options was a top priority for DB. The company will present an updated group strategy by the end of the year.

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Deutsch Bahn AG-interim Figures Infographic
© Deutsch Bahn AG

DB generated 974 million euros of Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) in the first half 2018, a decrease of 205 million euros (17.4%) from 2017. This decrease was mostly caused by special charges from inclement weather, a drop in rail freight transport volumes, and investment by the company to improve its punctuality. DB plans to increase investment in the reliability of its services by more than 100 million euros in 2018 to raise its on-time rate. The management board expects EBIT in 2018 to equal EBIT in 2017, which was 2.15 billion euros.

DB’s international business units  DB Schenker and DB Arriva – also experienced continued growth. DB Schenker generated revenues of 8.3 billion euros in the first half of 2018, an increase of 2.8% and DB Arriva accumulated 2.7 billion euros, an increase of 1.7%

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The kilometres travelled by trains on long-distance passenger services also increased by 6% to 20.6 billion in the first half of 2018.

Lutz said:

“Things are moving in the right direction. Traffic is shifting to rail. And we on the DB Management Board are confident that the coming years will bring excellent opportunities for DB as a company in a growing industry and as the most eco-friendly mode of transport by far.”

DB Cargo, however, experienced a 6.7% drop in volume of rail freight. The company is reacting to this decrease in trade by making changes  which will include “addressing problems of its own making”. DB did not specify the nature of these ‘problems’.

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The usage of its infrastructure by other rail companies continues to grow. Demand for train paths increased by 1.1% to 540 million kilometres. The percentage of infrastructure usage by non-DB companies was 31.9% in the first half of 2018, rising from 30.8 across the same period of 2017.

Net capital expenditure increased from 1.5 billion euros to 1.9 billion euros. This increase (0.4 billion euros) is part of the largest investment campaign in the history of DB.

The company also recruited 13,300 new employees in Germany and plans to complete approximately 19,000 new appointments by the end of the year. The total number of employees at DB is now 202,500 people in Germany (and 329,600 worldwide.

For more information a transcript of Lutz’s speech (in English) is available here.

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