The Deutsche Bahn Group released its full-year results, announcing a positive operating result. However, the positive headlines mask some not-so-positive takeaways from the results, such as a loss-making cargo division, poor punctuality, and after-tax losses for the group. In fact, DB is heading for a serious operating loss this fiscal year, Railway Supply magazine reported, quoting RailFreight.

DB Group

Logistics subsidiary DB Schenker posted an operating profit of 1.8 billion euros in 2022. DB Schenker’s record profit helped bring the DB Group’s operating result to 1.3 billion euros and thus return to plus. Significant growth in the number of passengers also contributed to positive results.

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However, this is not the case with rail transportation subsidiary DB Cargo. The company managed to increase revenue compared to the previous year, but failed to close 2022 with a profit for its parent company. DB Cargo reported an operating loss of 600 million euros, mainly due to difficult operating conditions and additional costs.

DB’s overall punctuality also hit a new low in 2022, with only 65.2% of long-distance trains arriving on time, compared to 75.2% a year earlier. Germany’s infrastructure is also struggling to keep up with demand, with DB saying it’s “too old, too prone to failure and doesn’t have enough capacity”. Finally, while the company’s after-tax earnings are improving, 2022 is also marked by losses (-227 million euros).

For the current financial year, DB is bracing for an operational loss of around 1 billion euros. The company understands that past year was a turning point. Company needs to change course and approach the renewal and modernization of infrastructure in a completely different way.

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