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UPDATE 1-D.Bahn sees 2008 sales at 34.2 bln euros -documents

(Adds detail, background)

BERLIN, Aug 11 (Reuters) - German rail operator Deutsche Bahn [DBN.UL] expects to post revenues of about 34.2 billion euros ($51.39 billion) this year, according to documents seen by Reuters ahead of the company’s planned partial privatisation.

The documents also showed that revenues at Europe’s biggest rail operator rose 8.5 percent in the first half of this year from the same period last year to 16.6 billion euros.

In March, the company said it planned to boost sales by about 5 percent this year, excluding the effects of logistics firms acquired by Deutsche Bahn in 2007, which contributed significantly to the first-half figures.

Last year, Deutsche Bahn posted revenues of 31.1 billion euros, a rise of 4.2 percent.

The company benefited from a robust economy in the first few months of the year, according to the documents.

A spokesman for Deutsche Bahn declined to comment on the figures and referred to a company news conference on Aug. 18, when the firm will publish its first-half results.

The government plans to sell 24.9 percent of Deutsche Bahn’s passenger transport, logistics and services businesses in late October or early November in what is set to be Germany’s biggest flotation since 2000.

The government expects to raise more than 5 billion euros from the long-awaited sale. Proceeds will be used to fund expansion in Deutsche Bahn’s logistics business, including through acquisitions and joint ventures in growth areas such as eastern Europe.

Rail tracks, stations and energy supply will remain the property of the state.

Sources have also said Deutsche Bahn’s operating profit after interest rose in the first five months of the year to about 810 million euros, a roughly 20 percent increase from the same period last year, helped by drastic cost savings. (Reporting by Markus Wacket, writing by Madeline Chambers, editing by Will Waterman)

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