(Berlin, July 28, 2022) Deutsche Bahn Group (DB Group) has returned to profitable business. For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began, DB Group has generated an operating profit, returning DB Group to its path of profitable growth. DB Group closed out the first half of 2022 with adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT adjusted) of € 876 million. Group revenues increased by 28.4% to roughly € 28.0 billion. Many more travelers used DB Group's regional, local and long-distance services. Demand for international freight forwarding and logistics services remained strong. "Our turnaround has been successful," said Dr. Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG, in Berlin. "Demand is booming and we have returned to profitable business."
The operating profit (EBIT adjusted) was up by around € 1.9 billion compared with H1 2021. DB Schenker, DB Group's logistics subsidiary, made the largest contribution to DB Group's current success by far. It nearly doubled its EBIT adjusted to around € 1.2 billion.
Volumes, revenues and profits in DB Group's core business (Integrated Rail System) also rose considerably overall. In H1 2022, 59.1 million passengers used DB Group's long-distance trains in Germany. That was an increase of 117% compared to H1 2021. Some 725 million passengers used DB Group's regional and local trains in Germany, an increase of 60%. DB Group's volume sold in rail passenger transport grew by 109% to 36.4 billion passenger kilometers in H1 2022. DB Cargo posted an increase in revenues (+5.6%) and volume sold (+1.2%), but also faced a negative impact from the war in Ukraine and reduced capacity due to the level of infrastructure construction.
Although DB Group has continued to modernize and build at record levels, its rail infrastructure is not currently keeping pace with traffic growth. The result has been more congestion and delays in the rail network. In H1 2022, 69.6% of long-distance trains reached their destinations on time (79.5% in H1 2021). The overall on-time rate for DB Group's rail passenger service in Germany was 92.5%. Train kilometers on track infrastructure rose by 2.7% to over 563 million train-path kilometers.
DB Group, together with the German government, continued to invest heavily: Gross capital expenditures of € 5.4 billion in total were spend primarily in rail infrastructure in Germany, as in previous years. Net capital expenditures climbed by 3% to € 2.7 billion. As of June 30, 2022, net financial debt, at € 30.5 billion, was 4.8% higher than at the end of the previous year but remained within the expected range.
CFO Dr. Levin Holle highlighted DB Schenker's performance in addition to the strong upswing in DB Group's core business: "H1 2022 was Schenker's most successful half-year in its 150-year history as a logistics company. DB Schenker played a major role in bolstering the DB Group's favorable performance overall." DB Arriva, DB Group's local transport provider in Europe, also made progress in H1 2022. DB Arriva improved its adjusted EBIT.
Holle cited the sharp rise in inflation, and “ballooning energy prices” in particular, as a major economic challenge. For the short term, he said, energy price hedges were in place for a number of major areas. Ultimately, though, DB Group is not immune to the overall price trends that would be seen going forward.
There is a great deal of uncertainty associated with the forecast for 2022 since the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic remain unpredictable. Nevertheless, DB Group expects to close out the full year with much higher revenues and a much better operating profit than forecast in March 2022.
DB Group currently expects an adjusted EBIT of more than € 1 billion in 2022. Revenues are expected to grow to more than € 54 billion. Together with the German government DB Group plans to increase its capital expenditures in 2022 to over € 16 billion (gross) and over € 6.5 billion (net). Net financial debt is unchanged expected to be slightly higher than at the end of 2021.