Luas passenger boost fails to halt 25pc profit slump
A RECORD year for the Luas in 2012 was not enough to prevent pre-tax profits at its French-owned operator declining by 25pc to €1.39m in the past 12 months.
Returns just made to the Companies' Office, show Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd sustained the dip in profits in spite of record passenger numbers of 29.4 million.
Passengers on the Luas last year increased by 300,000 and this contributed to revenues at Veolia Transport increasing by 8pc from €49.4m to €53.4m in the 12 months to the end of December.
A Luas extension linking the Red and the Green Lines, due in 2017, is expected to generate an extra ten million passengers in a full year.
The figures also show Veolia Transport's pre-tax profits dipped from €1.87m to €1.39m.
And they confirm that the company paid a dividend of €1.68m last year.
The accounts reveal Veolia Transport employed 288 people at the end of last year – an increase of three on the 285 employed at the end of 2011.
Numbers were boosted last year with the Luas system enjoying a full year of revenue from the Red Line extension to Citywest from Belgard to Saggart that opened on July 2, 2011.
According to the directors' report, the decrease in profits was "due to increased administrative costs".
They said the firm's earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation was €1.56m compared to €2.025m in 2011.
Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd has the contract to operate the Luas and its future extensions and the directors confirmed they will take bid for the new Luas contract in September.
The firm's shareholder funds at the end of December stood at €2.9m which included €2.83m in accumulated profits.
The company's cash increased from €1.7m to €5m last year while staffing costs rose from €14.3m to €14.58m.
The figures also reveal that emoluments to directors increased from €149,800 to €162,016.
The Red Line – running from Saggart to Connolly – is 20km in length and has 32 stops, while the Green Line – running from Brides Glen to St Stephen's Green through Sandyford, is 16.5km in length and has 22 stops.
Veolia Transport Dublin Light Rail Ltd – formerly known as Connex Transport Ireland – was selected in May 2002 to operate the Luas system.
The Green Line opened in June 2004 and the Red Line was up and running the following September.