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Deutsche Bahn: revenues above EUR 40 billion for the first time • Higher long-distance patronage [Railway]

The 2015 fiscal year saw Deutsche Bahn's revenues top EUR 40 billion for the first time in the company's history. Patronage in long-distance rail transport in Germany also rose again, by 2.2%. "As happy as we are with these positive developments, a self-critical look shows us that we did not achieve the targets we set," said DB CEO Dr. Rüdiger Grube at the annual results press conference for the 2015 fiscal year in Berlin. "At EUR 1.76 billion, our earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were down considerably year on year, due in part to the strikes we faced. We need to make far-reaching improvements, and that is why we launched a Group restructuring process and our 'Zukunft Bahn' (future of rail operations in Germany) program last year to raise quality in a noticeable way for our customers and thus return to a path of economic success."

At EUR 40.5 billion, DB's revenues in 2015 were up EUR 748 million, or 1.9%, from the year prior. At EUR 1.76 billion, adjusted EBIT was down EUR 350 million, or 16.6%, from the previous year's figure. Due in part to special write-downs in rail freight transport and non-recurring items as a result of the restructuring process – which together amounted to some EUR 1.67 billion – DB posted a net loss for the year of EUR 1.3 billion. Gross capital expenditures rose by 2.4% to EUR 9.3 billion, primarily due to higher investment in infrastructure. Net financial debt rose by 7.9% year on year, to EUR 17.5 billion. "We are launching the largest investment campaign in the history of Deutsche Bahn AG, and the rise in our net financial debt is a product of that," said DB CFO Dr. Richard Lutz. "We remain a reliable, stable and sound partner on the capital markets."

Deutsche Bahn made progress in environmental protection in 2015, raising the percentage of renewables in traction power by 2.4 percentage points to 42.0%. The company also retrofitted more than 6,000 freight cars with whisper brakes, raising the total number of retrofitted freight cars by a good 90% year on year. By the end of this year, half of all DB's freight cars will be retrofitted; by 2020, all of them.

Passenger transport
DB Long Distance transported 132 million passengers by rail in 2015,
2.9 million, or 2.2%, more than the year prior. DB Regio, on the other hand, saw a decline in the number of rail and bus passengers of 1.2% to 2.5 billion.

Freight transport and logistics
In the rail freight sector, DB's volume fell by 4.3% year on year, to 98.4 billion metric ton kilometers. Business at DB Schenker saw a positive trend, with the number of European land transport consignments up 2.9% and air freight volumes up 1.4%. Contract logistics again saw a strong increase in revenues of some 17%. Only ocean freight saw lower volumes, with a drop of 2.1%.

German rail traffic rose once again in 2015, with a 1% increase in the volume produced. Operators outside the DB Group saw their market share rise to 27.5% (following 25.0% in the year prior) – testimony to the effectiveness of competition in the rail transport market.

Posted at 17:20

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