Development of business units

Development in relevant markets

DB Arriva has maintained its operational delivery throughout a challenging social and economic environment, emerging out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst the changes in mobile/hybrid working and increased use of digital communication are expected to have longer-lasting effects on demand for local transport, demand for long-distance rail transport across Mainland Europe is approaching, and in some cases exceeding, pre-Covid-19 levels.

United Kingdom

  • DB Arriva has supported the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Bus Fare Cap Grant scheme. The scheme, which has applied to the vast majority DB Arriva’s services in regions outside London, caps the maximum cost of a single ticket at £ 2. During the first three months of the scheme, DB Arriva UK Bus carried more than 8.3 million customers at the discounted rate. Over the same period, in addition to helping customers during the cost-of-living crisis, the cap also proved successful in encouraging more people to travel by bus, with some routes seeing ridership more than double.
  • In May 2023, the government adopted a two-year financing agreement for the bus sector, setting out £ 300 million of funding to protect vital routes and improve services until 2025. The funding will help enable DB Arriva to continue to work with local authorities to plan, promote and grow services.

Mainland Europe

  • There are significant challenges throughout Europe due to inflationary cost increases. The impact of this is partly mitigated through contractual indexation mechanisms and pricing, as well as DB Arriva’s transformation program which has provided overhead and operational cost reduction. Driver shortages continue to be challenging, with alternative sources of labor being considered and initiatives put in place to reduce the impact of skills shortages.
  • In the second half of 2022 as well as the first half of 2023, activities in some countries that are not part of the core business were sold.
  • DB Arriva continues to follow market opening developments in France very closely. The framework in which operators will need to deliver rail services in future was put in place in 2020/2021. The first regional rail transport contract was confirmed by Region Sud in October 2021, followed by Hauts de France in 2023. Most French regions are now in the process of opening up their rail networks to competition with several tender announcements expected in 2024.
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