Ladies and gentlemen,
The trend towards more railway use continues unabated. More than 70 million passengers have used our long-distance trains in the first half-year of 2018. Customer satisfaction has also increased in long-distance transport. This shows how much potential the railway system has, even if punctuality has not met our expectations in the first half of 2018.
We therefore continue to strive for greater punctuality, quality and reliability. Together with our owner, we are investing, modernizing and digitalizing rail transport in Germany. Everything for our common goal: transferring more traffic to the rails!
The basic dilemma – that more and more traffic accumulates on an increasingly utilized network – will continue to be an issue for years to come, but there are actions and measures we can take to improve the situation. We are therefore willing to hand over a lot of money to become better and more reliable for our customers. Our Railway of the Future quality program has already achieved a great deal for our customers, but it is still not enough. We have to stay focused on this. We plan to stick to our challenging targets.
How did the first half-year perform economically? We were able to achieve a slight increase in revenues. A quick glance at EBIT shows that, at the half-year mark, we are below the value for the same period in the previous year. Relative to the full year, we currently expect a result that will be in line with the previous year’s result.
We are implementing numerous improvements for our customers. Together with the transport sector, we are driving the interconnection of everyday mobility. Examples for this are the expansion of the City Ticket and the integration of further transport associations in the DB Navigator app. For the first time, it is now possible to book DB long-distance tickets with a transport association. Additionally to this, customers are able to embark on their trip from the ICE to the regional express all the way to tram and bus with just a single mouse click – using our new Komfort Check-in.
We increasingly focus on cooperation with partners in the digitalization process. The most recent example: DB Digital Ventures has invested in three start-ups. In the logistics field, we also focus on strategic partnerships. As the first supplier of logistical services worldwide, DB Schenker together with MAN and the Hochschule Fresenius University of Applied Sciences has deployed two digitally networked trucks to the A9 autobahn to test the application in practice.
At DB Schenker, we are experiencing growth in all areas, particularly in air freight. And at DB Arriva, all sails continue to be set for growth as well.
In conclusion, I am convinced that the railway will be the means of transport of the 21st century – reliable, secure, comfortable, eco-friendly and digital. We – the Federal Government and DB Group – will tackle these challenges together. Naturally, we are nowhere near where we want to be, but we are moving in the right direction. That is why we are determined to make the railway progressively better for our customers – one day at a time. This is our promise to our customers.
Dr. Richard Lutz
CEO and Chairman of the Management Board
of Deutsche Bahn AG