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Underlying result from operating activities

Our financial position and results need to be sound if we are to achieve our ambitions and keep train fares affordable. We should be able to achieve healthy returns by ensuring good operational performance and high levels of customer satisfaction. This will also enable us to keep investing in new rolling stock and thus serve the public interest. The development in the underlying result from operating activities is a good yardstick for assessing whether NS is able to achieve healthy returns on its business operations. The underlying result shows the result from operating activities after eliminating exceptional items. Due to COVID-19, the underlying result decreased by €2.7 billion to end the year with a negative result from operating activities of -€2.4 billion. Needless to add, this is not sufficient for us to achieve our ambitions. Our primary focus, therefore, is on getting passengers back into our trains and at our stations as soon as the situation allows, and on scaling down to regain our financial health, so that we can keep train fares affordable.

(in millions of euros)




Result from operating activities




Of which abroad




Settlement of various claims




Remarketing fee for Fyra



Availability payment




Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW) scheme




EMA and ERMA Abellio UK




WW II compensation




CLE mechanism



Provision for onerous contracts and impairment Abellio UK



Impairment Abellio Germany




Impairment main rail network contract




Provision for reorganisation




Repayment of ACM fine received







Underlying result from operating activities




Of which underlying result from foreign operations, excluding impact of IFRS 16



Exceptional items in 2020 mainly concern COVID-19-related support measures, the recognition of impairments in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany and the provision for possible termination fees in the United Kingdom.
In 2019, exceptional items mainly concerned the Fyra remarketing fee, a €47 million provision for individual compensation for victims of WWII transports, and repayment of a fine previously imposed by ACM.

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