Record profits at DB Schenker help Deutsche Bahn back to black

Photo: DB Schenker

Rail and logistics giant Deutsche Bahn (DB) was back in the black last year thanks to a record performance at its forwarding subsidiary DB Schenker.

The forwarder, which DB is considering putting up for sale, last year reported earnings before interest and tax (ebit) of €1.8bn – an increase of almost 50% compared with the previous record achieved in 2021.

Meanwhile, total revenues increased by 20.3% to €27.6bn and airfreight volumes were down 7.8% to 1.3m tonnes.

The forwarder said that airfreight demand had started the year strongly, but was later affected by weaker economic conditions, the Ukraine war and coronavirus restrictions in China.

“There were already signs in the summer months of 2022 for a weakening of demand to be observed. This trend continued and accelerated in the last quarter 2022,” the company said.

The demand drop coincided with capacity increases that affected the equilibrium between supply and demand.

Despite the volume decline, DB chief financial officer Levin Holle said that the forwarding unit had made an “extraordinarily positive contribution” to the overall group’s performance.

Despite the current market developments, which recently included a considerable drop in freight rates in air and ocean freight, the logistics subsidiary had shown itself to be in top form, he said.

“DB Schenker is a success story with a strong position in all the relevant industry sectors. With the transformation program that DB Schenker launched in 2022, it is setting the way for more steady growth. DB Schenker has the potential to continue delivering excellent results in the coming years,” said Holle.

The overall group reported an ebit of €1.3bn for the year, compared with a loss of €1.5bn in 2021.

Deutsche Bahn prepares for the sale of DB Schenker

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]