The CIÉ group of companies has reported a deficit of €43.1m for last year, before a once-off subvention payment of €36m from the Government and a near €19m pension cost adjustment.

When these factors are included, the group reported a surplus of €11.7m. The group is comprised of Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail.

CIÉ's annual report - published today - shows that group operating costs fell by €7.3 billion last year from 2011, while revenue rose by €17m to €724.9m from €707.9m in 2011

Chairman Vivienne Jupp said that 2012 was an extremely difficult year, from a financial perspective.

''The cumulative effect of five years of reducing demand for public transport, reductions in Exchequer-funded Public Service Obligation payments, the increased cost of fuel and other economic factors led to a serious cash shortage in the group early in the year,'' she stated.

The number of people working at the group fell by 315 to total 10,083 by the end of last year. Employee numbers have fallen from 11,818 in 2008 to 10,083 in 2012.

229.3 million passenger journeys were made across the group's bus and rail services in 2012, down from 232.7 million journeys in 2011. However, the company noted that passenger numbers did stabilise in the second half of the year.

During the year, the group was granted a fares increase across its services and it said that cost reduction programmes across all three operating companies are continuing.