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July 28, 2010

DB publishes strong first-half results

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GERMAN Rail (DB) CEO Mr Rüdiger Grube says his company is "back on track for growth" following improved financial results in the first half of this year. Compared with the same period in 2009, group revenues grew by 12.8% to Euros 16.5 billion while earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) rose 26% to Euros 846 million.


This increase was fuelled largely by logistics subsidiary DB Schenker, which saw railfreight volumes rise 40.1% year-on-year to 203.1 million tonnes. Overall rail passenger numbers fell by 0.4% to 954 million, partly because the loss of regional contracts reduced ridership in this sector by 0.7%. However long-distance passenger numbers rose 1.9%, partly because of the closure of European airspace in April following a volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Debts were reduced by a further Euros 151 million to Euros 14.9 billion, while the workforce increased by 3000 year-on-year to 240,000.
However, despite his "subdued optimism" Grube warned the global economic outlook remains in doubt and suggested the crisis in the Eurozone, together with public spending cuts in some European member states, may suppress transport demand. "The deep recession that markets are currently recovering from, as well as the uncertain outlook for further economic development in Europe, hinder any appearance of unbridled euphoria," he said. "Current favourable developments do not change our forecast that the German railfreight market will not recover to its 2007-08 peak level until 2013."

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