NS slashes dividend as earnings slump due to one-off investments

State-owned Dutch Rail NS says its 2017 net earnings nosedived to €24m from €212m, largely due to heavy one-off investment in new rolling stock.

The company slashed its dividend payment to the finance ministry to €8m from €79m in 2016, the Financieele Dagblad has reported. Turnover last year rose slightly to €5.1bn.

NS earnings were bolstered by Abellio, which operates transport services in Germany and Scotland. Its rail concessions in those countries contributed €53m to operating profit. Abellio will begin operating a new concession in England on 17 December.

NS has recently earmarked €2.5bn for new rolling stock and another €500m in refitting double-decker train carriages.

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