grube.jpgThe EC says DB may have breached European Union anti-trust rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant market position. But DB CEO Dr Rüdiger Grube says he cannot understand the allegation because no European country is as open to competition as Germany. DB's board member for legal issues, Mr Gerd Becht, says there have been allegations regarding electricity charges since 2002, but DB has had intensive discussions with the Federal Cartel Office and won a number of cases.

Strong financial recovery
DB says it made a strong recovery from the financial and economic crisis in 2010 and returned to growth. Turnover increased 17.3% last year to Euros 34.4 billion, while adjusted Ebit rose by 10.7% to almost Euros 1.9 billion. The acquisition of Arriva resulted in a Euros 1.9 billion increase in net debt to Euros 16.9 billion. Capital investment in 2010 was 14.3% higher than in 2009 at Euros 2.07 billion.

"All of our business divisions are back in the black," says DB chief financial officer Dr Richard Lutz. "Even though our profits have not yet reached their pre-crisis level, we can see that the upwards trend is sustained and that we're on the right track."

Grube says the outlook for 2011 is "very positive" although he expects the rate of revenue growth to be less than last year at around 5%.

Despite the problems DB faced last year with train availability on the Berlin S-Bahn, the ICE fleet, and through extreme weather conditions, passenger journeys rose by 2.2% to 1.95 billion and passenger-km by 2.4% to 78.6 billion. Grube says the problems with passenger services have been taken care of, but Lutz admitted that the difficulties in Berlin cost DB "three-digit million" euros and delays and cancellations to long-distance services cost around Euros 100 million.

DB Schenker Rail did much better in 2010 than 2009. Tonne-km was 12.6% higher at 105.8 billion while tonnage jumped by 21.8% to 415.4 million. Total freight revenue grew by 13%.
DB Networks provided 3.1% more train paths last year at 31 million train-path-km. The proportion of non-DB operators using the German rail network grew by 14.6% to 19%.