Germany’s national rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) has filed its 2023 full year finances, disclosing EBIT losses of €964m ($1.04bn) amid infrastructure investments. 

“As expected, additional infrastructure expenditures and substantial upfront expenses of more than EUR 1 billion pre-financed for the German government had a negative impact on DB’s EBIT,” the company explained. 

DB said its net debt increased due to “capital expenditures”, and said its net loss for 2023 was €2.4bn ($2.5bn), compared to its net loss of €227m in 2022.

The group blamed massive hikes in interest rates, which was magnified by increased borrowing to pay for its increased spending on infrastructure. 

“The DB Group’s results were also affected by the additional burdens of inflation-related cost increases, a sharp rise in personnel expenses and multiple strikes,” its statement added. 

On happier notes, DB said its passenger numbers had increased to nearly 2 billion journeys in 2023, a 5.8% growth year-on-year. 

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

While DB lauded the increased numbers and said it was focusing on investing in nationwide infrastructure and rolling stock upgrades, its overall performance on passenger services was marked negatively on key metrics. 

Train path kilometres fell by 1.3%, and crucially for Germany’s famously punctual rail service, on-time arrivals fell across long-distance and regional services. 

“High capacity utilization of the rail network, combined with a high level of construction, had a negative impact on punctuality in long-distance transport, which was at 64.0% (down from 65.2% in the previous year). The punctuality of DB Regional trains was 91.0% (compared with 91.8% in the previous year).”  

DB CEO Richard Lutz said the financial picture was expected to return to a more positive in 2024, and said the pain of 2023 would be worth it. 

“In 2023, we made upfront expenditures and did more construction than ever before because we cannot delay overhauling and modernizing our infrastructure.

“But 2023 also marks a turning point: together with the German government, we launched the largest and most comprehensive capital expenditure program since the German Rail Reform in 1994,” he explained. 

“Thanks to the major increase in budgetary funding from the German government, we are able to make additional expenditures of roughly €30bn ($32bn). We are continuing to press ahead with implementing our Strong Rail strategy. 

“Achieving Germany’s climate and transport policy objectives and shifting more traffic to environmentally friendly rail will simply not be possible without high-performance infrastructure,” Lutz added.