2014 net profit stood at €605m compared with a €180m loss in 2013, which was mainly due to a €1.4bn write-off of TGV high-speed trains. Recurring net profit amounted to €419m in 2014, down by €177m compared with 2013, which SNCF attributed primarily to the decline in Ebitda.

SNCF managed to stabilise its net financial debt at €7.4bn, while maintaining investments at €2.2bn. Total gross investments amounted to €3.3bn in 2014, with 60% invested in rolling stock and equipment and 40% invested in maintenance facilities.

International business was up by 7%, which SNCF attributes as the main driver of growth in 2014, with 25% of its revenues now generated from markets outside France. Revenue at Keolis was up 20% outside France and the SNCF business unit reported a 5.8% rise in business outside Europe.

Mr Guillaume Pepy, SNCF chairman, says: "In 2014, SNCF proved its resilience amid a lacklustre economy and despite severe constraints. We achieved significant growth, particularly in our international markets, meeting our 2014 targets for Ebitda and stabilising our debt, while continuing to invest on an unprecedented scale."

SNCF has set ambitious targets for 2015, including revenue growth of over 3%, with international revenue growth targeted to reach 27%.