The result is in spite of the commercial success of its AVE high-speed services unit, which reported a 20% ridership rise in 2013. Renfe's total losses reached €80m.

According to official figures revealed by Europa Press, income increased by 4.4% to €610m in comparison with the first quarter of 2013, while costs went up by 7% and Ebitda fell by 33% to €25m.

Income from the high-speed and long distance services operated by Renfe grew by 3.6% in the first quarter, faring only modestly when compared with the two-digit annual ridership increases reported since Renfe Travellers introduced a more flexible fares policy and an 11% general reduction of ticket prices in February 2013.

Commercial income for the loss-making regional and suburban units were down by 2.6% to €171.6m in accordance with a recent general reduction in demand for such services.

Renfe Freight achieved a 23% reduction in its losses in the first quarter to €17m, after a 7.2% revenue increase to €63m. The maintenance subsidiary continued its rationalisation plan by cutting losses by 54% to €6m.