Pay hikes for Luas drivers as a result of a Labour Court recommendation helped to almost double pre-tax losses at Luas firm, Transdev last year.
New accounts filed by Transdev Dublin Light Rail Ltd with the Companies Office show that pre-tax losses at the company increased by 74% from €350,538 to €609,301 last year.
The Luas Cross City opened last December and this contributed to revenues at the firm increasing by 6% from €31.22m to €33m last year.
The revenue increase followed the numbers of passengers going on the Luas increasing by 10.26% to 37.7m.
Numbers employed by the firm last year increased from 292 to 324 with staff costs increasing by 15.5% from €14.56m to €16.82m.
A spokeswoman for Transdev said on Friday: “Profit is down on 2016 and the main contributory factors are the increase in salary costs as a result of the Labour Court Pay Agreement 2016, which the company accepted.
She stated: “It allowed for a salary increase of up to 18.3%.
The spokeswoman also stated: “In addition to the wage cost increases Transdev also recruited Drivers and Revenue Protection Officers for the opening of Luas Cross City.”
The directors’ report states that a new contract is currently being tendered for the operation of the Luas and that Transdev “has been shortlisted to bid for the new contract”.
Transdev state that it has mobilised a highly skilled international team to manage its bid.
The directors also attributed its drop in earnings to bank charges significantly growing in line with changes in consumer behaviour and bid costs incurred for the new contract.
The figures show that ‘merchant fees’ last year increased from €275,593 to €377,960.
The directors also state that “wage demands are currently outstripping Consumer Price Index (CPI) factor used in revenue calculations under the terms of the Labour Court recommendation agreed in 2016”.
Directors' pay decreased from €274,132 to €265,287. Two directors resigned during the year and compensation for loss of office for directors totalled €154,580.
Shareholder funds at the end of last year totalled €548,651.
The Transdev spokeswoman said that the firm has carried out customer satisfaction research on the Luas Cross City line and the satisfaction rating came out at 97%.