NS says the deterioration in its financial performance is due to an allowance for losses on the aborted Fyra high-speed service between Amsterdam and Brussels following the failure of the V250 train fleet, a reduction in domestic passenger traffic due to the economic recession, and higher operating costs, coupled with what NS describes as the worst winter for 10 years.

NS estimates an overall loss for Fyra of €247m comprising €125m for depreciation and €122m for cancelling the train service.

Passenger-km fell from 8498 million in the first half of 2012 to 8406 million in the first half of this year, resulting in a drop in income from €1052m to €1045m. Operating costs rose from €2137m in the first half of 2012 to €2309m this first half partly due to an increase in staff numbers from 27,915 to 28,126. As a result, NS turned an operating profit of €204m in the first half of 2012 into an operating loss of €106m for same period this year.