The trouble stems from the rail goods transport service as well as international logistics using road, ships and planes - the losses here could not have been made good by even a significant improvement in figures from the passenger side of the company, the sources said.
And even this was badly affected by June's flooding, with many routes cancelled.
Deutsche Bahn's total turnover in the first half of the year was slightly under the €19.5 billion seen in the same period last year. But increased wage bills and higher energy prices have hit profits, the managerial source said. Official figures will be released on Thursday.
The national rail operator should not expect to take delivery of the 16 new ICE trains it ordered from Siemens, this year, Focus magazine reported. They have been delayed, and the rail authorities do not now expect to receive the missing paperwork until November, and will need around four months to work through it.
Eight of the 16 trains were supposed to have entered service on German routes in December 2012 - after delays.