In 2020, NS and ProRail presented the results of the most recent international benchmark to the Lower House of Dutch Parliament. In the benchmark, we compare our performance over the 2014-2018 period with that of similar railway companies (DSB, NMBS, SBB, Greater Anglia, West Midlands Trains). It shows that NS and ProRail attracted above-average scores for customer appreciation, punctuality and passenger safety. The increase of customer appreciation (11%) was the highest in the peer group, due in particular to improved operational performance and the modernisation of rolling stock and stations. In addition, we post high productivity figures in busy railway network and with intensive train operations. This results in relatively low costs per passenger-kilometre. We are also a front runner in terms of sustainability.
We have engaged the Reptrak Company to monitor and calculate our reputation. In the second quarter of 2020, the RepTrak score for NS reached 70, which is the highest level ever. Despite a slight decline towards the end of the year, the annual average still registered a record score of 69, which is above our target score of 62 for reputation in 2020. NS is doing particularly well on social values and the attractive employer score. With these results, NS is continuing the upward trend of recent years.
NS is transparent about its performance. Every month, it reports via www.ns.nl on the latest scores for the KPIs that have been set for the main rail network franchise, with detailed supporting evidence. The COVID-19 crisis prevented us from measuring all KPIs throughout the year. NS is included in the permanent research group of the 250 largest Dutch organisations for the Transparency Benchmark. This is a tool provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs for improving corporate sustainability reporting within the Netherlands. The results are presented in a Transparency Ladder that is made publicly available and widely communicated. The 2019 Annual Report was not assessed. NS achieved a position among the top 3, however, for its 2018 Annual Report. The 2019 Annual Report was nominated for the Sijthoff Prize awarded by the Financieele Dagblad newspaper.