Financial position

The robustness of NS’s financial position is shown by the structure and the composition of its capital, and the available cash and cash equivalents including any committed credit facilities and off-balance sheet liabilities (mainly operating lease liabilities). Standard & Poor’s (S&P), a leading agency that investigates the financial position of companies, has given NS Groep NV a credit rating of A+ with a negative outlook (based on an underlying credit profile of bbb+, currently raised by three levels in recognition of the relationship with the shareholder, the Dutch State). The negative outlook is because of the expected high levels of investment expenditure in the years ahead, which will cause the fixed costs to increase, making it a challenge for NS to achieve improvements in the financial results over the next few years. In view of the forecast growth in passenger numbers and the increasingly busy railways and stations, NS will be investing heavily in the coming years in trains, stations and ICT systems to make sure it can cope and continue to satisfy our customers’ demands. Based on the NS group plan and the initiatives it contains for improving results, NS expects that the available cash flows, the financing capacity and the availability of a residual value scheme for the rolling stock for the main rail network will be sufficient to let it carry out its investment programme of approximately €3.8 billion in the period through to 2023. The realisation of these improvement initiatives will require a substantial effort from everyone at NS over the next few years. Liabilities worth approximately €2.2 billion have also been entered into for lease equipment for the franchises in the United Kingdom and Germany.

Key financial figures




Concerning the capital position


Capital base/total assets



Current assets/current liabilities



Working capital (in millions of euros)*



Total assets (in millions of euros)



Concerning profitability


Profit for the period/average equity (ROE)



  • * 2017 figures have been adjusted for comparison purposes)
  • ** Working capital: current assets (excluding cash and cash equivalents) minus current liabilities (excluding loans and provisions)