Deutsche Bahn 2010 results up sharply

31st March 2011, Comments 0 comments

German national railway Deutsche Bahn said Thursday that sales and profits rose sharply in 2010 but warned the pace would be slower this year.

The state-owned railway posted a net profit of 1.06 billion euros ($1.5 billion), up 27.5 percent, as sales climbed 17.3 percent to 34.41 billion euros.

Core operating profit was 10.7 percent higher at 1.87 billion euros.

Finance director Richard Lutz told a press conference that "after the catch-up effect in 2010, we will not have similar rates of growth in 2011."

At the same time, the company was optimistic, Lutz added, noting that earnings would get a boost with the final consolidation of figures from the British group Arriva that Deutsche Bahn bought in April 2010.

The German railway's earnings were underpinned last year by freight activities that slumped heavily in 2009 in the country's worst post-war recession.

Deutsche Bahn also earned handsome profits on its rail network, on which it collects rents from other operators.

The European Commission wants railway infrastructure such as tracks, stations and electricity supply to be made independent of the operator itself.

The Commission said Thursday that it had carried out searches of several Deutsche Bahn sites as part of an anti-trust investigation.

The searches stemmed from allegations that Deutsche Bahn Energie, de facto sole electricity supplier for trains in Germany, offered preferential treatment to the group's rail freight arm.

Meanwhile, results from Deutsche Bahn's passenger operations were less positive, with sales on long-distance routes up 4.6 percent at 3.73 billion euros while regional services slipped 0.4 percent to 7.56 billion euros.

Deutsche Bahn faces competition from Veolia and Keolis for regional passenger traffic.

It was Deutsche Bahn's single biggest activity however, contributing 729 million euros to overall operating profit, a decline of 18.9 percent.

The railway operator's reputation has suffered from repeated delays and cancellations, and from opposition to its plans to build a new station complex in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany as part of a high-speed trans European link.

© 2011 AFP

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