According to CP, the loss includes disparities, changes in fair value losses in subsidiaries, and financial costs of €227m. If these three elements were stripped out, the company would be left with an operating loss of €62m, which would be an improvement of €26m over the previous year.

CP says a reduction in overall costs helped Ebitda to grow from €26m in 2010 to €39m last year, and this figure is expected to reach €60m in 2012.

Passenger numbers fell by 5.8% to 226 million last year, which CP attributes to a deterioration in the economy and competition from other modes. It also blames strikes and a 5% fare hike in January 2011 which was followed by a 15% rise in August.

At the end of 2011, CP had a workforce of 2978, down 263 on the previous year.

Infrastructure manager Refer also had a difficult year, with losses increasing 12% to €164m, although Refer says €7m of this is explained by a change in accounting methods. Revenue fell 4% to €166m and Ebitda dropped 19% to €68m.