"We're on track and we are also confident about the remaining months, even if the pace of the recovery has slowed a bit," says Dr Richard Lutz, DB's chief financial officer. However, net debt increased by Euros 351m to Euros 17.29bn.

Freight traffic recorded a 2.3% increase in tonnage in the first half to 207.8 million and an 8% jump in tonne-km to reach 56.78 billion. Passenger traffic grew by 1.9% to 972.5 million, although passenger-km was virtually unchanged at 38 billion.

"The figures confirm that we have been on the right track and also signal that we should continue on as we have," says Dr Rüdiger Grube, DB's CEO and chairman of the board of management. "Above all else we want to become more customer and environmentally-friendly while raising our levels of service and quality. Open and honest communication with our cugrube_july_28.jpgstomers is very important for us. And that is why we will start publishing our punctuality scores in the local and long-distance segments every month on the DB internet site as of this September."

Non-DB users of the rail network accounted for 20.8% train paths, topping the 20% level for the first time.