Bus Éireann recorded a €9.2m loss last year as it dealt with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The state bus company had notched up a profit of €2.3m a year earlier.

Revenue from Expressway services fell by 35.8% to €38.96m with passenger numbers falling by 59%.

PSO revenue reduced by 8.6% to €141.6m with the number of passengers carried dropping by 49%.

In its annual report the company also said expenditure associated with cleaning and PPE equipment cost €16.7m.

The company said it had agreed schedule changes with the National Transport Authority to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the business.

Temporary support of €5m was also received under the Commercial Bus Operator Direct Award Contract.

In total the public service obligation (PSO) subvention rose by 53% as a result of the reduction in passenger revenue.

School transport revenue reduced by 5.3% because of the suspension of school transport services arising from school closures.

The carrier also received €18.7m from the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and its successor, the Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme.

However, the net impact of the subsidy was €0.55m the company said, because the majority of the subsidy was used to offset revenue under other funding streams.

Payroll and related costs increased by 1.2% to €144.6m, with an average headcount of 2,702.

Nine staff received payment excluding pension costs in excess of €150,000, up from five a year earlier, with four being paid between €100,000 and €125,000 and eight getting between €100,000 and €125,000.

At the end of 2020, the company's defined benefit pension scheme had net liabilities of €975m.

Investment reached €3.1m, up from €1.1m a year earlier with capital spent on the bus fleet and customer services.

CEO Stephen Kent said the company believes that after the Covid crisis, Expressway will return to profitability as annual travel patterns begin to return to normal post the pandemic.