Deutsche Bahn (DB) has reported record long-distance passenger numbers and a healthy operating profit in the first half of this year following an “unsatisfactory” 2015.
DB’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose by 13.1 per cent to just over €1 billion in the first half of 2016 while long-distance passenger numbers increased by 6.4 million to 66.7 million – a rise of more than 10 per cent on last year.
The group’s revenues increased slightly by 0.2 per cent to €20.03 billion.
DB recorded a net loss of €1.3 billion in 2015. This followed a restructuring of the business and was compounded by additional costs resulting from industrial action earlier in the year.
DB chief executive Dr Rüdiger Grube said he was optimistic about the half-year results. “A year after launching an extensive restructuring process at the DB Group, we are pleased to report that we have begun to see initial financial successes,” said Grube.
The rise in long-distance passenger numbers comes despite DB Regio’s loss of several routes to private operators and has in part been attributed to the opening of the new high-speed line connecting Erfurt with Halle and Leipzig in December.
Traffic increased by 2.6 per cent to 531.4 million, with private operators now accounting for 29.8 per cent of that figure.
Arriva’s success in winning the Northern franchise in the UK has boosted DB’s international business. Passenger numbers around the world have risen by 4.9 per cent to more than 854 million.
Announcing the results, Grube acknowledged the issue of security in light of the events in Munich, Ansbach, and the attack on a train in Wurzburg.
He said DB would increase security, hiring hundreds of additional staff and upping surveillance at stations.