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Wednesday 22 November 2017

CIE group defies strikes to record €38.6m profit

Bus Eireann sustained losses
Bus Eireann sustained losses

The CIE group of companies last year recorded an operating profit of €38.6m - in spite of two of its subsidiaries, Bus Eireann and Irish Rail, sustaining losses.

The last 12 months have been turbulent for CIE, with strike actions at Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann.

However, CIE's annual report for 2016 showed the business enjoyed a turnaround in its finances, driven by a boost in passenger revenues.

The six-day strike at Dublin Bus last year contributed to profits at the firm dropping by 74pc, from €10.2m to €2.6m, for 2016.

Nevertheless, revenues at Dublin Bus increased from €228m to €236m last year.

The directors' report for CIE said a pay increase at Dublin Bus resulted in additional costs of €6.5m. Customer numbers at Dublin Bus increased by 5pc, to 128 million, in the period.

"A six-day industrial dispute occurred in September 2016," the directors said, referring to the strike.

"The industrial action, causing significant disruption to our customers, was greatly regretted by the company."

The report said the company faced a number of challenges last year.

Boosted

Passenger journeys across Bus Eireann, Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and School Transport grew by 10.2 million, from 241 million to 251.2 million.

The increase in passengers boosted revenues at CIE last year. They went up by €65m, from €1.153bn to €1.2bn.

That included revenues from operations, totalling €893m.

The CIE group last year received €431m in exchequer funding - down from €451m in 2015.

The State contribution of €451m compared to €922m from the State in 2008.

The business - which employs 10,017 people - enjoyed an operating profit of €38.6m in 2016 compared to an operating loss of €8.8m in 2015 - a positive swing of €47.4m.

The profit took account of business restructuring costs of €4m and an exceptional net VAT gain of €26.6m from Revenue.

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