DB notes that domestic airlines witnessed a 3.8% decline in passenger numbers during 2012, while new car registrations also fell by 2.9%.

The picture was less rosy for DB's railfreight business, as Europe's continuing economic problems pegged volumes back to 105.9 billion tonne-km, a 5.4% decline compared with 2011.

Despite this, revenues rose by €1.4 bn (3.7%) to €39.3bn, while adjusted EBIT increased by €399m (17.3%) to €2.7bn. Net capital expenditure grew by 35.7%, or €918m, to €3.5bn and net financial debt fell by 1.4% to €16.4bn.

According to infrastructure manager DB Networks, demand for train paths in Germany was slightly below the record levels seen in 2011, declining 1.1% to 1 billion track-km. Private operators increased their share by 4.9% to 22.2% of total train paths, while the number of station stops rose by 0.8%. The total number of railway companies using the network reached 395.