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Deutsche Bahn billion-plus loss

FRANKFURT: March 17, 2016. Deutsche Bahn (DB) has reported a net loss of €1.3 billion on adjusted revenue of €40.46 billion in 2015 compared to a net profit of €988 million on revenue of €39.7 billion the previous year. Net debt rose 7.9 percent to €17.5 billion during the period.

DB Schenker reported a 3.4 percent increase in revenue to €15.45 billion. EBIT for 2015 was up 19.0 percent to €395 million; capex was €238 million and employee numbers rose 2.3 percent to 66,327.

The company saw ocean and airfreight revenue rise 3.1 percent to €6.75 billion; contract logistics increased 17.3 percent to €2.38 billion; and European trucking revenue fell 0.7 percent to €6.32 billion year-on-year.

DB Group 2015Airfreight export volumes rose 1.4 percent to 1.3 million tonnes; ocean exports measured in TEUs fell 2.1 percent to 1.9 million while warehousing space for contract logistics increased 8.5 percent to 7.7 million square meters.

Commenting on the results DB CFO Richard Lutz said group revenues are expected to exceed €41.5 billion in 2016 primarily due to growth at its DB Arriva and DB Schenker subsidiaries. Net profit is forecast at €0.5 billion and net debt will rise to €19 billion resulting in a €3 billion bond issue during the year.

DB chairman and CEO Rüdiger Grube cited the longest strike in the company's history that cost it €300 million in EBIT, the impact of unusually fierce winter storms, and the "great responsibility of transporting hundreds of thousands of refugees" as contributing to the 2015 loss.

He said rail freight was the company's biggest challenge last year: "Many customers signed long-term agreements with other carriers during the strike, and our rail freight revenues are still down 8.0 – 10.0 percent as a result." He said the newly renamed rail business 'DB Cargo' was doing everything it could to "encourage former customers to return and also to recruit new customers".

DB Cargo reported a 2.0 percent drop in revenue year-on-year to €4.76 billion and an EBIT loss of €183 million compared to +€46 million in 2014. Freight volumes fell 8.8 percent to 300 million tonnes during the period.

Grube concluded by saying: "We are looking to the future at DB and have launched the largest investment campaign in our history, which will run over the coming five years. As part of this campaign, we will be making major investments in quality so that we can offer products that will make more customers enthusiastic about DB.

"The total investment will amount to some €55 billion by 2020, with the vast majority – €50 billion – to be invested here in Germany. Of the €55 billion in gross capital expenditures, €35 billion will come from the German government and €20 billion from DB's own funds," he added.

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