Pre-tax losses at the CIE Group of companies last year narrowed to 23.5 per cent to €52.5 million.
That is according to the 2021 annual report for the CIE group which show that combined pre-tax losses over the pandemic hit 2020 and 2021 total €121.2 million.
The group - made up of Irish Rail, Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus and CIÉ Tours International - show it reduced group pre-tax losses last year as revenues increased by 9 per cent from €1.19 billion to €1.29 billion.
The group’s revenues from operations slumped by 19 per cent from €555.49 million to €449 million.
However, the slump was more than offset by a €153 million increase in receipts from Public Service Obligation contracts from €421.28 million to €574.84 million while ‘other revenues grants’ from €62.2 million to €113.26 million.
The group also availed other exchequer funding of €161.29 million compared to €155.77 million in 2020.
According to the annual report, the group delivered an extended range of services and these additional services contributed to an overall operating cost increase of €92 million including a €16 million pension cost increase in 2021.
The annual report records that Irish Rail enjoyed a surplus of €2.6 millionas Irish Rail provided 17.4 million passenger journeys in 2021 - down from 17.9 million in 2020 that includes 2.5 months of no Covid-19 restrictions.
Bus Eireann recorded a deficit of €1.6 million - down from €9.3 million in 2020 as the number of Bus Eireann journeys increased from 51 million to 57.5 million last year.
On CIE’s growing concern status, a note attached to the accounts states that the Group incurred a loss of €1.5 million on commercial activities in 2021 compared to an equivalent loss of €26 million in 2020.
It states that “this highlights the level of corrective measures implemented by management to curb the trend.
“Staff reductions and re-deployments in key areas as well as tight cost controls were key factors in the turnaround.
"The Budget for 2022 plans a continued improvement in the financial performance of our Commercial activities notwithstanding the anticipated tapering-off of Government Covid supports."
On this year, the note states “that CIÉ enters 2022 with a strong liquid cash position, liquidity is forecast to reduce throughout 2022 as positive cash flow timing difference which occurred in 2021 unwind during 2022 and as CIÉ continues to fund essential capital programmes.
“CIÉ is forecasting the continuation of positive liquidity into 2022.”
Numbers employed across the group last year increased from 10,598 to 10,825 as staff costs totalled €728.89 million including €23.2 million.
Five staff members earned more than €200,000 with 31 earning between €150,000 and €200,000. A further 149 earned between €100,000 and €150,000.