Development in the year under review
- The increase in volume sold and the number of passengers at the beginning of 2020 was significant.
- Consistently positive punctuality performance.
- Very good development of customer satisfaction.
- Financial development influenced by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Punctuality (rail) (%)
Customer satisfaction (SI)
Passengers (rail) (million)
Passengers (long-distance bus) (million)
Volume sold (rail) (million pkm)
Volume sold (long-distance bus) (million pkm)
Volume produced (million train-path km)
Load factor (%)
Total revenues (€ million)
External revenues (€ million)
EBITDA adjusted (€ million)
EBIT adjusted (€ million)
Gross capital expenditures (€ million)
Employees as of Dec 31 (FTE)
Employee satisfaction (SI)
Share of women as of Dec 31 (%)
Specific final energy consumption compared to 2006 (based on pkm) (%)
Punctuality was noticeably improved. Capacity reductions due to Covid-19, the successful construction site and slow-moving site management, as well as improved vehicle availability and quality, had a positive effect. In addition, the delays caused by weather (storms, heat, for example) decreased.
Customer satisfaction increased significantly and reached the highest level since the start of customer satisfaction surveys at DB Long-Distance. The reasons for this were the maintenance of the service during the Covid-19 pandemic, the low capacity utilization, the high level of satisfaction with the onboard personnel and significantly improved punctuality. To assess customer satisfaction, in 2020 about 20,000 customers were asked in six waves about their satisfaction with their latest journey.
The number of BahnCard discont card at the end of the year under review fell due to Covid-19, but less steeply than the general ticket sales. This affected all BahnCard products.
The performance development in rail transport also declined sharply due to the Covid-19 pandemic:
- The number of passengers and the volume sold developed positively at the beginning of 2020 as a result of the reduction in VAT and the expanded offer of services. From March 2020, however, this development was overshadowed by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Interim recovery trends due, among other things, to the increasing travel activity in the summer months, especially in private travel, were interrupted again by the events of the pandemic from autumn 2020 onward.
- At the beginning of 2020, volume produced developed equally positively, in particular due to the expansion of available services on the Berlin — Munich line and the commissioning of KISS trains. The negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the corresponding temporary
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.
For bus transport, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic also led to a reduction in volume sold and passenger numbers. At the end of the year under review, the activities were discontinued.
As a result of the sharp decline in income, the operating profit figures deteriorated significantly:
- At the beginning of 2020, revenues continued to develop positively due to performance. Due to the decline in demand due to Covid-19, however, revenues fell significantly in the course of the year. The sale of Ameropa resulted in an additional negative effect.
- In addition, other operating income fell (–5.0 %/€ –11 million) due to Covid-19 as a result of lower income from vehicle sales and international transport.
Overall, expenses increased only slightly. Additional burdens, mainly from increased personnel expenses and higher depreciation, were largely compensated by savings in cost of materials as a result of the pandemic-related decline in volume produced:
- The decrease in cost of materials (–2.1 %/€ –58 million) was mainly driven by Covid-19-related cost savings in energy, commissions, the use of goods in onboard catering and international transports. In addition, the sale of Ameropa reduced expenses. Conversely, the maintenance expenses increased as a result of additional measures during the period of restricted schedule. Infrastructure expenses for train paths and stations were at the same level as in the previous year – the price-related increases were almost completely compensated for by the volume-related savings due to the lower volume produced.
- The higher personnel expenses (+6.2 %/€ +65 million) were primarily due to wage increases and the increased number of employees.
- Other operating expenses remained nearly unchanged (+ 0.8 %/€ +5 million). Higher expenses for IT services (including software development for IT projects, equipping employees with mobile terminals) were largely offset by lower expenses for marketing, international vehicle hire, as well as savings on traveling expenses and in-person training due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The significant increase in depreciation (+13.2 %/€ +40 million) is due primarily to newly procured ICE 4 and Intercity 2 trains (including KISS trains) and the capitalization of the ICE 3 redesign program.
Capital expenditures remained at a very high level and resulted from continued vehicle procurement (in particular ICE 4 and Intercity 2 trains) and the further expansion of depot capacity.
The number of employees increased as of December 31, 2020, due to the continued implementation of the Strong Rail strategy. The sale of Ameropa had slightly offset this effect.
The employee satisfaction index rose significantly. In addition to the individual measures, this positive development is mainly due to the high level of identification with DB Group and the Strong Rail growth strategy, as well as the management of the Covid-19 crisis, which was perceived to be successful. The compass index was first recorded in 2020 and was 55 %. This means that the majority of employees agree with the compass principles and that there is strong teamwork at DB Long-Distance. The compass principle “You can do it” performed particularly well by this measure.
The share of women increased slightly compared to the previous year.
In the year under review, the specific final energy consumption on the rail increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as the number of passengers declined sharply while the volume produced remained almost constant. Nevertheless, the energy efficiency of train journeys was improved with the increased use of ICE 4 and locomotives from the 146 and 147 series, as well as with the introduction of the new, energy-efficient 110 series (Stadler-KISS trains). At the same time, a driving assistance system was used throughout Germany in the year under review. Based on schedule data, actual and prognosis data, the drivers receive driving recommendations that take into account the current operating situation. This helps reduce energy consumption, for example, by recommending lower speed, coasting or avoiding unnecessary stops, including at signals.