Deutsche Bahn defies crisis
Group cuts debt by nearly one billon euros / EBIT 1.7 billion euros / Revenues decline by 12.3 percent / Transport and Logistics business plummets – Passenger transport generally stable / DB CEO Grube: “Integrated Group has proven its strength”
(Frankfurt/Main, 25 March 2010) Despite facing uniquely difficult overall conditions stemming from the global economic and financial crisis, Deutsche Bahn was still able to remain clearly in the black in 2009 and closed out its financial year with an EBIT figure of 1.7 billion euros. During the presentation of the annual results in Frankfurt Dr. Rüdiger Grube, CEO and Chairman of the DB Management, Board stated: “Even during the worst crisis we were still able to defend our economic strength and competitive position. The integrated Group impressively proved the strength of its structure.” According to Grube the good results were only possible because the company countered the crisis in a sustained way: “Our efforts to decisively control our liquidity and make sustainable improvements to reducing costs in 2009 enabled DB to make a 642 million euro contribution towards improving our earnings.”
DB AG revenues in 2009 were significantly lower than in the previous year due to the effects of the global economic decline. The decrease was especially notable in DB’s rail freight transport and logistics areas of business. Revenues posted for the entire Group fell by 12.3 percent to 29.3 billion Euro (previous year: € 33.5 billion). Adjusted results from operations (adjusted EBIT) were 1.7 billion euro, or 0.8 billion below the comparable figure posted in the record-setting 2008 financial year. Despite these setbacks, net debt was significantly decreased by 5.9 percent, or 932 million euros to currently 15 billion euros. DB CFO Diethelm Sack, who will retire this year, noted, “The fact that we were able to further decrease our debt despite the crisis reflects the strength of the company. This gives us the scope we need to make necessary capital expenditures in the future.”
DB CEO Grube stated that the company would decisively continue its successful course: “Defending the company’s economic strength and reducing our indebtednessare two items that will remain at the very top of our agenda in the future. There is no reasonable alternative to this stance, especially in the interest of our customers. Only if we achieve these goals will we be able to remain competitive and expand our position.”
Passenger transport almost unchanged
The number of passengers carried in the rail passenger transport segment in 2009 remained almost unchanged from the previous year’s figure, despite substantial vehicle problems. DB’s rail business transported 1.93 billion passengers in 2009, or 14.2 million (- 0.7 percent) less than in 2008. Developments posted by the individual business units varied. While DB Bahn Regional recorded a slight gain of 0.1, the DB Bahn Long-Distance (minus 0.4 percent) DB Bahn Urban (minus 2.5 percent) posted declines. The primary reason behind the weaker figures was the reduced availability of ICE vehicles due to the shortened maintenance intervals and the reduction in services offered by the Berliner S-Bahn (metro). Volume sold also fell slightly by 1.3 percent to 76.8 billion passenger kilometers.
In contrast, the number of passengers transported by DB Bahn Urban’s buses rose notably in the 2009 financial year by 3.8 percent, or 27.5 million, to 747.6 million. Volume sold in this segment increased by 0.9 percent to 8.4 billion passenger kilometers.
Transport and Logistics: External revenues fall notably
Volumes shipped via DB’s rail freight transport business were considerably lower in 2009 than in the previous year due to the weaker economy. A slight recovery was only noted during the fourth quarter of the previous year. The volume of goods transported via DB Schenker Rail decreased by 10 percent, or 37.7 million tons to 341 million tons. Volumes sold amounted to 93.9 million ton kilometers or 19.7 billion ton kilometers (-17.3 percent) below the comparable year-ago figure. External revenues fell by 18.5 percent.
Logistical services were also impacted by the effects of economic collapse. DB Schenker Logistics posted a 3.8 percent decline in the volume of shipments transported by its European land transport business in 2009. The decline noted for air freight was notably steeper as the volume of freight transported fell by 16 percent in comparison to the previous year. Ocean freight volumes shipped in 2009 contracted by 2.1 percent. External revenues for DB Schenker dropped by 23.4 percent.
Reduced demand seen for rail infrastructure
Declining rail freight transport volumes also meant lower demand for train-path. DB Netze Track recorded a corresponding decline in volumes sold of 41 million train-path kilometers(Trkm), or 3.9 percent, to 1,001 million Trkm. Non-Group railways continued to expand their share of demand for train-path slightly (a gain of 2 percentage points to currently 17 percent). During the reporting period the number of station stops rose marginally by 0.1 percent. The share held by non-Group railways rose by 11.7 percent.
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