Thursday 22 August 2019

Record year - but Luas still posts loss

Luas had a record year
Luas had a record year

Gordon Deegan

A RECORD year for the Luas in 2015 was not enough to prevent its French operator from going into the red to record a pre-tax loss of €612,092.

Last year a record 34.6 million passengers went on the Luas - a 6pc increase on 2014, which marked the eighth successive year of rising numbers on the service.

However, earlier this year, the Luas's passengers were prevented from using the service over 12 days as a result of a bitter industrial dispute between its operator, Transdev Dublin Light Rail Ltd and its Siptu Luas drivers.

The dispute with the drivers was resolved after both sides agreed to a Labour Court recommendation that contained pay increases that range from 15.6pc to 18.3pc between this year and September 2020.

Now, new figures show that the strike action came on the back of plummeting revenues and losses for the firm last year in spite of the record passenger numbers.

The accounts lodged with the Companies Office show that the firm's revenues last year reduced by 36pc from €48.8m to €30.9m.

The directors' report said the decrease in revenues "is due to a lower base revenue under the terms of the new contract and a change in commercial terms giving rise to a different accounting treatment for certain maintenance services".

"Under the previous contract with the Rail Procurement Agency (RPA), the company recognised revenue and related costs for certain maintenance services gross whereas under the terms of the revised contract revenue and related costs are now reported net, resulting in a decrease in revenue and cost of sales," they said.

The directors state that the company last year recorded a loss of €368,400 before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and this compares to earnings of €1.24m in 2015.

The directors state that the decrease in earnings "relates to the more challenging nature of the new contract with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the National Transport Authority (NTA)".

The directors state that "while profitability is lower under the terms of the new contract, it is the intention of the directors to continue to develop the current activities of the company".

Numbers employed on the Luas last year decreased from 290 to 288 with staff costs decreasing from €15.1m to €14.7m.

Emoluments to directors increased from €262,856 to €277,678.

No dividend was paid in 2015.

Irish Independent

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