Deutsche Bahn returns to profitable business

DB Schenker

For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began, Deutsche Bahn (DB)  has generated an operating profit, returning itto its path of profitable growth. DB closed out the first half of 2022 with adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT adjusted) of €876m. Group revenues increased by 28.4% to roughly €28bn. Many more passengers used DB’s regional, local and long-distance services. Demand for international freight forwarding and logistics was also higher than ever before. Furthermore, the moves being made by the company are in line with its sustainability policies.

Operating profit (EBITD adjusted) was up by around €1.9bn compared with the first half of 2021. At that time, the global Covid-19 pandemic had driven DB into the red, to the tune of nearly €1bn. Altogether, DB’s core business lost over €10bn due to the Covid-19 pandemic. DB Schenker, DB’s logistics subsidiary, made the largest contribution to DB’s current success by far. It nearly doubled its operating profit compared with the first six months of 2021 to around €1.2bn. 

Although DB has continued to modernise and build at record levels, the rail infrastructure is not currently keeping pace with traffic growth. The result has been more congestion and delays in the rail network. In the first half of 2022, 69.6% of long-distance trains reached their destinations on time. That figure was 79.5% in the first six months of 2021. The overall on-time rate for DB rail passenger services in Germany was 92.5% in the first half of the year. Train km on track infrastructure rose by 2.7% to over 563m train-path km, around 20m more than before the Covid-19 pandemic. 

CEO Dr. Richard Lutz stressed that DB’s current on-time rates and service quality were “not acceptable.” In response to this situation, DB and the German government had joined forces to transform the highly utilized network into a high-performance network and would begin a general overhaul of the busiest corridors starting in 2024. A package of immediate measures would provide relief even sooner. “Anything that can improve the situation for our customers will be our top priority,” Lutz said, adding that development of the high-performance network would not come at the expense of other efforts to modernize the rail infrastructure. Work to upgrade the infrastructure, build new lines and digitalize rail services would also continue unabated. The goal, Lutz said, was to make the infrastructure fit for the future in every way.

Source: DB Schenker