Sunday 24 September 2017

CIE organises €160m loan facility

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

CRISIS-hit CIE has organised €160m in bank lending facilities - but must meet strict performance targets before the cash is released.

Group chairman Vivienne Jupp told the Dail Transport committee the money would only be made available to Dublin Bus, Bus Eireann and Iarnrod Eireann if they reduced costs and grew passenger numbers and revenue.

Securing the funding was a key condition of a €36m bail-out of the company last year by the Government. 

CIE was also forced to sell land at Spencer Dock, to help shore up its crippling losses which hit €31m last year.

Ms Jupp said its lenders would act like the troika and only release funds if key performance targets were met.

The money will be used to fund day-to-day operations.

“Key performance benchmarks required by the four banks with whom we have arranged banking facilities include growing revenue and reducing costs, particularly payroll costs which make up 55pc of our cost base,” she said.

“Put simply, if we fail to meet our targets there will be less funding available to us and we will return to the crisis situation we faced last year.  Effectively, the four banks are our troika and there we must avoid such a scenario.”

CIE has been hit with falling passenger numbers and increased fuel costs in recent years.  Last year, it received a total of €278m in government funding, a drop of €112m (35pc) since 2008.

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