2017 Integrated Report – Departure into a new era

Other issues

Project risks

Our measures involve not only some huge capital expenditure volumes, but also a large number of highly complex projects. Changes to the legal framework, delays in implementation (due among other things to more extensive public participation), necessary adjustments during terms often lasting several years, deviations from the ramp-up curve of funds for capital expenditures agreed with the Federal Government or changes to purchase prices may lead to project and liquidity risks. The networked production structure means that these can often affect a number of business units. For example, in such cases planned modal shifts from road to rail will not be feasible. We keep up to date with this by closely monitoring projects. This applies in particular to large, centrally managed projects.

With the implementation of planned profit and efficiency gains from various business-unit-specific programs and projects, such as Railway of the Future for the integrated rail system in Germany or Primus at DB Schenker, there is a risk that the planned effects will either not be realized or will only be realized to a lesser extent and/or after a delay. At the same time, however, there is also the opportunity that the planned effects will be even greater than expected.

Infrastructure financing

As a key element of the German Rail Reform Act, the Federal Government has the constitutional obligation to finance the capital expenditures in rail infrastructure. The key factor here is getting a sufficient amount of funding, but also the ability to plan the availability of funds for the existing network as well as new construction and expansion (requirement plan capital ex­­pen­­­di­­tures). A lack of availability of funds for capital expenditures may result in insufficient funds for the maintenance of the existing network and restrictions in the long-term competitiveness of rail as a mode of transport.

We have an agreement with the Federal Government that sets out the financing of the existing network until 2019. The LuFV II and the associated securing of infrastructure quality and availability in the long term improve the attractiveness of rail as a mode of transport, which also results in higher revenues for infrastructure companies. The profits of infrastructure companies in turn are plowed back into the infrastructure via the financing cycle. Risks result from a potential failure to achieve the quality objectives specified in the LuFV II and may result in a possible reclaim by the Federal Government based on an audit of the proper use of Federal funds.

The economic sustainability of capital expenditures or contributions to capital expenditure projects funded with DB funds is essential to ensure DB Group’s ability to invest in the long term.

Political risks

EUROFIMA has given loans to state-owned railways in states that now have poor credit ratings. If these state-owned railways fail to meet their financial obligations to EUROFIMA, this could have repercussions for the carrying amount of the investment, and under certain circumstances trigger further financial obligations.

Environmental risks

Unique environmental features, such as climate-neutral transport services in passenger and freight transport on the basis of renewable energies, improve our customers’ positive opinions and thus improve external perception of the company. This results in considerable opportunities. Our activities not only have a positive effect on the reduction of greenhouse gases, they can also have a positive influence on customer satisfaction and our market position. Our mobility services must be CO₂-free from end to end in order to secure an environmental advantage.