Overall statement of the Management Board regarding the economic development
Economic development was significantly below expectations in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Following the extremely difficult development in the year under review, the Management Board of DBAG assumes that the business development will continue to experience very challenging conditions in 2021. Uncertainty about future economic development is significantly higher than in previous years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The anticipated process of gradually overcoming the consequences of the pandemic will result in a slow recovery. Business performance is therefore expected to be better in 2021. However, the pre-pandemic figures for volume sold, volume produced and revenues will in all likelihood not be achieved across all business units in 2021.
With our Strong Rail strategy, we have defined the strategic framework of our business operations and are focusing on our contribution to the transport and climate policy objectives of the Federal Government. Significant capital expenditures are required to implement it, particularly in the track infrastructure. Despite the economic slowdown, the Federal Government provided more financial support than ever before. The track infrastructure expansion necessary for the shift in the mode of transport to rail is underpinned by substantial financing contributions from the Federal Government in the period up to 2030. In addition, we are investing a record level of DB funds in the integrated rail system. The main focus of the additional expenditure is similarly on infrastructure, as this is the key to growth, the shift in the mode of transport and improved operational quality. This is because only high product quality and satisfied customers can increase revenues and profits in the long term. Our activities are subject to various risks, as described in the Opportunity and risk report.
For the 2021 financial year, we see risks in particular from the continuing and lasting consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on the demand for mobility and transport services. In the view of the Management Board, DB Group has introduced the measures necessary to protect itself against current risks and to take advantage of potential opportunities.