Development of business units

Development in the first half of 2020

  • Very good development of customer satisfaction, even before Covid-19 restrictions.

  • Positive punctuality performance.

  • Volume increases at the beginning of 2020.

  • From March 2020, noticeable burdens due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Capital expenditures significantly higher – further commissioning of new vehicles.

DB Long-­­Distance








Punctuality (rail) (%)



Customer satisfaction (SI)



Passengers (rail) (million)



– 30.8

– 42.9

Passengers (long-­­distance bus) (million)



– 0.2

– 66.7

Volume sold (rail) (million pkm)



– 9,260

– 44.3

Volume sold (long-­­distance bus) (million pkm)



– 58.0

– 69.9

Volume produced (million train-­­path km)



– 4.9

– 6.7

Load factor (%)



Total revenues (€ million)



– 907

– 37.9

External revenues (€ million)



– 893

– 38.7

EBITDA adjusted (€ million)

– 552


– 919

EBIT adjusted (€ million)

– 720


– 944

Gross capital expenditures (€ million)



+ 404


Employees as of Jun 30 (FTE)



+ 1,382

+ 8.2

Punctuality was noticeably improved. Covid-19 measures and the resulting significant decline in passenger numbers, along with reduced capacity utilization across the network, had a positive effect in this regard. Punctuality improvement measures in the period before the Covid-19 pandemic also contributed to this.

Customer satisfaction also increased. One of the main reasons for this was a good level of punctuality, but also the fact that capacity-­­related categories received better ratings due to the reduced volume of passengers (for example satisfaction with the number of free seats, cleanliness on board and train personnel). Customers also view positively the fact that operations were largely maintained during the Covid-19 restrictions and that precautionary measures were taken.

The performance development in rail transport declined sharply:

  • At the beginning of 2020, the number of passengers and the volume sold saw a positive development due to price measures resulting from the reduction in VAT, along with the extension of services on – among others – the Berlin­—Munich and North Rhine-­­Westphalia—Stuttgart lines. Since March 2020, this positive development has been overshadowed by the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • At the beginning of the year 2020, volume produced developed equally positively, in particular due to the expansion of services on the Berlin—Munich line and the commissioning of KISS trains. The negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the corresponding reduction in services to a stable basic schedule resulted in a reduction in volume produced. However, this decline was considerably lower in relation to volume sold.
  • Load factor reduced significantly as a result of the decline in volume sold and passenger numbers.

In the case of bus transport, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic also led to a reduction in volume sold and passenger numbers.

As a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, operating profit figures have deteriorated significantly and the economic situation is tense:

  • At the beginning of 2020, revenues continued to develop positively even further, particularly as a result of a reduction in VAT on tickets and the expansion of services. Overall, however, the first half of 2020 saw a significant drop in revenues as a result of declining demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The decrease in other operating income (–13.0%/€ –13 million) is due, among other things, to reduced revenues from vehicle sales and international routes as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the expenses side, there was some relief as a result of the decreased volume produced, although this was disproportionately low in relation to revenue development. Personnel and maintenance expenses also increased, along with depreciation:

  • The decline in the cost of materials (–2.3%/€ –31 million) was primarily driven by performance-­­related reduced infra­­structure and energy expenses resulting from the Covid-­­­19 pandemic. Conversely, the maintenance ex­pens­es increased as a result of additional measures during the restricted schedule.
  • The higher personnel expenses (+7.2%/€ +37 million) were primarily due to wage increases and the increased number of employees.
  • Other operating expenses remained nearly unchanged (–1.5%/€ –4 million). This was largely due to reduced expenses for marketing, car rental and training being for the most part offset by increased expenses for IT and consulting services.
  • The significant increase in depreciation (+17.5%/€ +25 million) is due primarily to newly procured ICE 4 and
    Intercity 2 trains (including KISS vehicles) and the capitalization of the ICE 3 redesign program. The fact that ICE T trains have reached the end of their useful life in terms of accounting had a counteractive effect.

Capital expenditure activity increased significantly. Alongside vehicle procurements, in particular of ICE 4 trains, capital expenditures in the redesign of ICE 3 trains and in new projects (WiFi on Intercity 1 trains, production platform) have had an impact.

The number of employees increased as of June 30, 2020, due to the continued implementation of the Strong Rail strategy.

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