• 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
Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Govt denies planning bailout for troubled Deutsche Bank
Photo: DPA

Germany's finance ministry on Wednesday said the government was "not preparing rescue plans" for Deutsche Bank, denying a newspaper report that state aid was being considered for the embattled lender.

Munich at high risk of housing bubble: report
A view of Munich. Photo: Pexels.com

Considering buying property in Munich? This report might make you think twice.

After fatal hail storm, south Germany set to see sun
The hail storm in Baden-Württemberg on Monday night left the streets looking like a winter landscape. Photo: DPA.

A hail storm in southwest Germany on Monday night led to the death of one woman, but forecasters predict a bit more sun in the days to come.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

UK files show how Spanish spy tricked Nazis over D-Day
Photo: DPA

Secret files released in Britain Wednesday shed new light on how a Spaniard dubbed the greatest double agent of World War II tricked Germany with false intelligence about the D-Day Normandy landings.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,545
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd