Passengers peak but train profits slump

Passengers peak but train profits slump
Photo: DPA
Passenger numbers have hit record highs, yet Deutsche Bahn's profits slumped by over 50 percent in 2013. Germany's state-owned rail giant is blaming floods, soaring costs and the economic crisis for its losses.

Deutsche Bahn was "caught out" by the bad weather in 2013, the rail company said on Thursday, as it posted figures which showed net profits down by 55 percent.

Yet with rail passenger numbers hitting a record of 2.02 billion and ticket prices having increased, the company struggled to explain what had gone wrong.

DB's annual report showed that despite a comparable sales turnover to the previous year, the companies net profit slumped from €1.46 billion in 2012 down to €649 million.

"Above all it was the weather that caught us out in 2013," said Bahn chief Rüdiger Grube at the presentation of the figures in Frankfurt am Main.

Storms and serious flooding along the Elbe last summer had left the railway with over €100 million in lost business and damages, he said.

Meanwhile, the freight division was still suffering the effects of the euro crisis, whereas rising staff and energy costs had further eaten away at profits, Grube added.

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