• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
German Rail records billion Euro loss after troubled year
Photo: DPA

German Rail records billion Euro loss after troubled year

AFP · 16 Mar 2016, 13:19

Published: 16 Mar 2016 13:19 GMT+01:00

Deutsche Bahn said in a statement it booked a bottom-line loss of €1.3 billion last year, its first year-end loss since 2003, due to exceptional writedowns of €1.7 billion on its freight business.

But the operator, which is also facing fiercer competition from long-distance bus companies, as well as in its regional networks, was also hit by the costs of a train drivers' strike earlier in the year.

As a result, underlying or operating profit declined by 17 percent to €1.76 billion.

On the other hand, revenues topped €40 billion for the first time, rising by 1.9 percent to €40.5 billion, and passenger numbers in the long-distance business increased by 2.2 percent to 132 million.

At the same time, the number of passengers using the bus and regional rail services of its regional arm, DB Regio, declined by 1.2 percent to 2.5 billion.

Short of targets

"As pleased as we are about the positive numbers, we also have to be self-critical: we didn't achieve what we had been targeting," said chief executive Rüdiger Grube.

In the cargo business, the volume of freight transported declined by 4.3 percent to 98.4 billion tonne-kilometres.

Division chief Berthold Huber said that a reorganisation of the business was "necessary" and some 430 cargo stations across the country would come under scrutiny, without providing any concrete details about the number of possible job cuts.

German news agency DPA quoted sources close to the supervisory board as suggesting that 3,500 jobs could be affected.

Deutsche Bahn's mixed performance in 2015 comes at a time when the state-owned company is planning massive investments to improve the quality of its service and network.

Story continues below…

According to plans revealed at the end of last year, Deutsche Bahn hopes to invest 55 billion euros in modernising its infrastructure until 2020, with 35 billion euros to be put up by the state and around 20 billion euros to come from Deutsche Bahn's current cash flow.

Looking ahead to the current year, Deutsche Bahn said it is targeting sales of 41.5 billion euros and a return to profit of around 500 million euros "following the exceptional situation in 2015," said finance chief Richard Lutz.

In addition to efficiency-boosting measures and cost-cutting of around 700 million euros by 2020, Deutsche Bahn is planning a partial privatisation of its DB Schenker Logistics and DB Arriva units.

German media reports have suggested that the government is not particularly keen on those plans, but CFO Lutz said Deutsche Bahn had had "constructive discussions with its owner" on the matter.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany says 'won't let anyone take Europe from us'
Steinmeier called the European Union “a successful project of peace and stability”. Photo: DPA

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Saturday that the EU would weather the shock of the British vote to leave the union as he convened crisis talks.

Brexit vote
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
A sign in Berlin's tech giant and startup-building company Rocket Internet. Photo: DPA.

London is currently thought of as the main hub for startups in Europe, but that will all turn around when the UK leaves the EU, tech industry experts say.

Brexit vote - Analysis
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
British Leave campaigners celebrate Brexit result. Photo: DPA

Britain leaving the EU means trouble ahead for Germany - and its hardest task will be convincing the Brits to drop a self-defeating ideology, a leading foreign policy expert told The Local.

How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Photo: DPA.

Considering a change of passport after the UK's vote to ditch the EU? Here’s how to do it.

Germany makes fracking verboten
A sign in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA.

German lawmakers approved a law that essentially bans fracking, ending years of dispute over the controversial technology to release oil and gas locked deep underground.

Brexit vote
German far right 'cries for joy' after UK votes to leave EU
Left to right: AfD's Beatrix von Storch and Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA

The far-right AfD party called for a "new Europe" and the resignation of the EU's top two politicians in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Brexit vote
Merkel: Brexit has cut into European unity
Angela Merkel at a press conference after the Brexit vote on Friday. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that the UK's decision to leave the EU has created a "cut in Europe" and the project of European unity.

Couple copulating on bridge shut down Autobahn
Kaiserlei Bridge in Frankfurt. Photo: Dontworry / Wikimedia Commons.

It was a highly unusual choice of location for a romantic rendezvous, police in Frankfurt point out.

Brexit vote
Germany: Brexit vote is a 'sad day for Europe'
A British flag along with other flags of European Union member countries flies in front of the European Council building in Strasbourg, France. Photo: EPA.

Top German leaders declared that it was a "sad day for Europe" after British voters opted to leave the European Union.

Viernheim hostage-taker wasn't carrying lethal weapon
A police officer stands guard in front of the cinema in Viernheim. Photo: DPA

The 19-year-old German man who took over a dozen people hostage in a cinema in western Germany on Thursday was carrying replica weapons, prosecutors have confirmed.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Gallery
7 photos which show the aftermath of Bavaria's Autobahn bridge collapse
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sport
How to sound like an expert on German football this summer
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
Society
How pictures of footballers on chocolates made Pegida really mad
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Bayer's Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
7,900
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd