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Operating revenue




Revenue from rail transport in the Netherlands 



Station development and operation in the Netherlands 



Revenue from transport operations in the United Kingdom 



Revenue from rail transport in Germany 



Total revenue



Revenue was €6,661 million in 2019 compared with €5,926 million in 2018, an increase of 12.4%. Most of this increase was generated abroad. In the United Kingdom, 9.6% organic growth and the launch of the East Midlands franchise in August 2019 (€193.1 million) caused revenues to increase substantially, by €452 million. In Germany the increase of €177 million was due principally to the launch of the Rhein-Ruhr-Express (RXX) franchise in North-Rhine Westphalia, the Dieselnetz-Sachsen-Anhalt (DISA) franchise in central Germany (December 2018) and the Stuttgarter Netz (STN) in Baden-Württemberg.
The decrease in revenues from station development and operation is largely attributable to the franchising of several retail formats including HEMA, Broodzaak, Smullers and Starbucks. This yields a drop in retail revenue and an increase in rental income.

Revenue in the Netherlands (€3,208 million in 2019, €3,102 million in 2018).

Revenue from rail transport in the Netherlands

Revenue from rail transport increased by 6% to €2,661 million (€2018: €2,510 million). This growth was due to the annual price indexation (1.8%) and a 3.7% growth in volume, i.e. the number of passenger-kilometres (2018: 2.4%). This growth was seen both at peak hours and off-peak hours. Broken down to class, 1st class passenger-kilometres saw the greatest relative increase in growth, resulting in higher average revenue. NS achieved higher revenues largely through more individual journeys (+7.6%) in both the social/recreational market and the commuting market. In addition, there was an increase in revenues from the sale of season tickets (+6.0%). This was due in part to the successful introduction of the NS Flex season ticket, which is used in particular by social and recreational passengers. Revenues from the business market also increased. Revenues from student public transport passes rose slightly (+2.2%), mainly as a result of an increasing number of passes for higher professional education students. The improving economic conditions (causing the number of employed people in the Netherlands, a group that is important for peak-hour travel, to grow by 1.9% in 2019), increased purchasing power, targeted marketing campaigns (aimed specifically at off-peak travel) and the introduction of NS Flex have all had a positive impact on our revenues. Revenues from international transport increased by €10 million (6.6%), mainly on services to Brussels, Berlin and Frankfurt.

Revenue from station development and operation in the Netherlands

Revenue from station development and operation decreased by €45 million to €547 million in 2019. This decrease is the result of several retail formats (HEMA, Broodzaak, Smullers and Starbucks) having been awarded to third parties as a franchise, causing retail revenues to fall and rental income to rise. Adjusted for this effect, revenues went up mainly from an increase in the use of public transport bicycles (from 4.2 million rides in 2018 to 5.3 million in 2019), additional parking revenue, higher results on the sale of real estate and a like-for-like increase in retail revenues from retail formats operated by NS itself, including AH to go, Kiosk and Rituals (4%).

Revenue in the UK (€2,919 million in 2019, €2,467 million in 2018)

Revenue from transport operations in the United Kingdom

Revenue from rail transport in the United Kingdom provided by Abellio increased by 18.9% in 2019 (of which 10.4% represents organic growth) when denoted in GBP. This growth can be traced to the Greater Anglia, ScotRail and West Midlands franchises and to the launch, in August 2019, of the East Midlands franchise. Merseyrail, the joint venture with Serco in which Abellio has a 50% stake, recorded revenue growth of more than 10%. Revenue from bus transport in the United Kingdom provided by Abellio rose slightly by 0.8%. This includes the replacement bus services that are provided for Abellio’s train companies in the United Kingdom in the event of disruptions to the timetabled trains.
When converted into euros, the revenue was €2,919 million, an increase of €452 million on 2018 (€2,467 million). The lower average value of the British pound in 2019 compared to its average value in 2018 had a positive impact on the revenue when denoted in euros of €25.1 million.

Revenue in Germany (€534 million in 2019, €357 million in 2018)

In Germany, Abellio generated €534 million in turnover, up €177 million compared with 2018. This growth was generated primarily by the launch of the DISA and RRX franchises, on 9 December 2018, whose full-year results were included for the first time in 2019, and the launch of the STN (Baden-Württemberg) franchise in June 2019. Including the franchises to be mobilised in 2020, turnover will grow to approximately €830 million in 2021. All franchises are the results of bids submitted until August 2016. No new franchises have been won since 2016, nor are any new bids for franchises in Germany being prepared at this moment.

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