Passenger revenue for the period fell to DKr 1.699bn, compared with DKr 2.661bn for the first half of 2019 - a comparative fall of DKr 962m. This corresponds to a drop in passenger numbers of 36% to 55.8 million journeys on its network for the first half of the year, compared with 86.6 million journeys during the same period in 2019.
DSB states that it projects a significant deficit of at least DKr 1bn for the whole of 2020, primarily due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic and social uncertainty.
This is despite significant reductions in outgoings throughout the period of roughly DKr 130m.
DSB says that before the coronavirus pandemic, it was experiencing growth in footfall on its regional and S-Train routes in January and February. However, following the outbreak of the pandemic, traffic fell drastically on both services with an 80% fall in revenue compared with the first half of 2019.
In addition, DSB also suspended sales of Orange and Orange Fri tickets to restrict passenger numbers on its services.
However, DSB reports that passenger numbers have begun to rise again following the gradual lifting of government restrictions throughout May and June, as well as the restarting of Orange ticket sales, with passenger volumes now at 66% of those for the first half of 2019.
DSB says that as a result, it has been strongly affected by the pandemic. As a provider of critical services, the operator was unable to minimise losses further by cutting services, despite significant falls in footfall and revenue during the first half of the year.
DSB chose to accept government aid worth DKr 68m for the support of furloughed employees, which the operator says has been extremely valuable.
In addition, DSB says it will negotiate with the Danish government’s position on its future financial framework in light of economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.