A record year for the Luas in 2013 was not enough to prevent pre-tax profits at its French-owned operator last year declining by 6% to €1.31m.
Newly-filed accounts with the Companies Office show that Transdev Dublin Light Rail Ltd sustained the dip in profits in spite of record passenger numbers topping 30m people.
Last year marked the sixth successive year of rising passenger numbers on the Luas, when user numbers increased by 500,000.
The rise contributed to revenues increasing by 6% to €56.7m in the 12 months to the end of December last.
In September of this year, Transdev signed a five-year, €150m, contract to continue to operate the Luas. The contract incentivises the operator to grow passenger numbers and reduce costs in order to provide best value for money for customers.
According to the directors’ report in Transdev’s latest accounts: “While profitability is likely to be lower than heretofore under the terms of the new contract, it is the intention of the directors to continue to develop the current activities of the company”.
The directors state that the increase in revenue is due to increased activity, in particular in the area of tram overhauls.
The report adds that the firm’s earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation was €1.54m last year compared to €1.57m in 2012. According to the directors’ report, the decrease in earnings and profits last year “is due to increased administrative costs”.
The Luas extension linking the Red and the Green Lines, due in 2017, is expected to generate an extra 10m passengers in a full year. The company paid a dividend of €1.62m last year.
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