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Deutsche Bahn posts €2.4 billion loss for 2023

March 21, 2024

The German railway operator had to deal with urgent network upgrades, strikes and rising costs last year. Meanwhile, almost a third of trains were delayed by six minutes or more.

Deutsche Bahn ICE trains in Frankfurt
Deutshe Bahn saw an increase in passengers in 2023, but that wasn't enough to avoid major lossesImage: Boris Roessler/dpa/picture alliance

Germany's embattled railway operator Deutsche Bahn posted a loss of €2.4 billion last year, the company announced on Thursday.

The heavy losses come amid rolling strikes, major construction work and rising costs across the board.

Deutsche Bahn also said that nearly one-third of trains were delayed in 2023, down from year earlier.

More passengers, less turnover

Although the number of passengers increased by 5.8% to 1.8 billion, turnover for the railway fell by 13% to around €45.2 billion.
This decrease was attributed to the normalization of freight costs, which affected subsidiary DB Schenker.

Deutsche Bahn also attributed its losses to advance payments for major infrastructure projects, which are expected to be reimbursed by the German government during the current year.

The railway operator spent €7.6 billion from its own funds last year to cover urgently needed upgrades for its ailing network. It plans to completely renovate 40 central railway lines by 2030.

Strikes and delays

Deutsche Bahn also said 64% of long-distance trains were on time in 2023, down compared to 65.2% in 2022.

A train is considered to be on time if it is less than six minutes late.

These delays were caused by a number of factors including overloaded routes, rennovations on sections of the network, and bitter worker strikes.

Deutsche Bahn is now aiming for a punctuality rate of 70% and a return to profitability again this year.

zc/rc (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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