Deutsche Bahn AG (HGB)

Income development

Changes compared to the previous year

In 2023, there were no material changes to accounting procedures that restricted the year-on-year comparison for DB AG.

Income development

Statement of income DB AG (HGB) / € million











Other internally produced and capitalized assets




Other operating income





Cost of materials





Personnel expenses









Other operating expenses





Net investment income




Net interest income




Profit before taxes




Taxes on income



Net loss for the year




The economic development of DB AG in 2023 was significantly influenced by the very negative net investment income development. As well as additional burdens due in particular to higher costs due to inflation (in particular for personnel, energy and procurement), the expansion of DB infrastruc­ture companies maintenance measures was also a factor. In addition, following the exceptionally good development in previous years, the normalization of freight rates led to a sig­nificant decline in the profit, which, however, remained significantly above the pre-Covid-19 level. Additional burdens for DB AG resulted from effects in connection with the planned sale of DB Arriva.

The increase in income at DB AG was driven in particular by higher revenues:

  • Revenues (+37.4%/€ +506 million): Significant growth, in part due to an increase in central services for DB companies and increased rental revenues.
  • Other operating income (–30.1%/€ ‒174 million): Decline resulted mainly from lower income from hedging transactions for energy (offsetting position in other operating expenses). Income from the release of provisions also decreased. The decline was dampened by positive effects from the Group charges introduced in 2023.

Conversely, there was an overall significant increase on the expenses side:

  • Depreciation (€ +1,066 million): This increase was very significant, due in part to impairment losses on intra-Group loans to DB Arriva companies.
  • Other operating expenses (+15.2%/€ +193 million): This increase resulted in particular from effects in connection with additions to provisions for impending losses in connection with the planned sale of DB Arriva and for ecological burdens. The increase in related IT services also increased expenses.
  • Personnel expenses (+20.6%/€ +190 million): Increase mainly due to an increase in expenses for retirement benefits (additions to pension provisions) and as a result of collective bargaining agreements. In addition, a higher average number of employees increased expenses.
  • Cost of materials (+10.4%/€ +54 million): The cost of materials increased due, among other things, to higher expenses for related services, in particular in connection with rental services provided, and for maintenance.

The significant deterioration in the net investment income was the main reason for the development of DB AG’s net profit for the year.

Net investment income

DB AG (HGB) / € million






Income from profit transfer agreements





thereof DB InfraGO AG (formerly DB Netz AG)




thereof Schenker AG





thereof DB Fernverkehr AG




thereof DB Energie GmbH





Expenses from assumption of losses





thereof DB InfraGO AG (formerly DB Netz AG)



thereof DB Fernverkehr AG



thereof DB Cargo AG





thereof DB Regio AG





thereof DB JobService GmbH





Depreciation of financial assets













The development of DB AG’s net investment income was driven by:

  • The weaker development of DB InfraGO AG (formerly DB Netz AG) (€ –2.0 billion) mainly due to the measures implemented to improve the quality and availability of the track infrastructure, some of which were prefinanced for the Federal Government.
  • DB Fernverkehr AG (€ ‒0.3 billion). Cost increases, in particular for energy and personnel, and the loss of Covid-19-related train-path price support were only partially offset by performance-related revenue increases.
  • The decline in income from profit transfer agreements at Schenker AG was mainly due to the normalization of freight rates.
  • Expenses from the assumption of losses by DB Cargo AG decreased. Quality restrictions due to lack of resources, construction activities in the infrastructure, particularly in Germany, rising factor costs and a lack of economic stimulus continued to put very strong pressure on the economic development of DB Cargo AG.

Depreciation on financial assets resulted from effects in connection with the planned sale of DB Arriva.

DB AG assumes the central financing function for DB Group and generally passes on the funds raised by Deutsche Bahn Finance GmbH (DB Finance) via bond emissions, that were then passed on to DB AG in the form of loans, to DB Group companies at essentially the same terms. Net interest income improved significantly. Interest income rose more strongly than interest expenses.

The tax position was unchanged and remained immaterial.

As expected, the economic situation worsened in 2023. In particular, the significantly weaker net investment income and impairments led to a significant deterioration in the net loss after taxes, which was already negative in the previous year.

Deviations from the forecast for income development

DB AG’s performance in 2023 essentially corresponds to the forecast for the 2023 financial year that was published in the 2022 Management Report. However, the decline was significantly stronger than expected as a result of the one-off effects from the sale of DB Arriva and the prefinancing of infrastructure measures.

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