However, the cost of debt servicing has prevented CP from posting even better results, although its overall operating result is 40% better than 2011 due to adjustments in rates and reduced costs.

The latter was achieved through cutting staff costs as the workforce shrank during 2012. The number of outside contract staff has also been reduced.

In a statement, CP stressed that "this reduction is not globally visible because of the impact of increased traction energy prices and higher infrastructure charges (paid to Refer)."

In 2012, traffic revenues decreased by €1m to €211m, reflecting an 11.4% fall in passenger numbers, which CP says "was not unconnected with the high number of strikes that occurred throughout year, with a special emphasis in the fourth quarter."