Industry & Business

Irish Ferries owner posts rise in revenue

Irish Ferries owner posts rise in revenue

March 07
16:30 2016

Irish-Dublin_feiriesIrish Continental Group has reported a 10.5% increase in revenues and a 49.5% increase in earnings before accounting for tax, depreciation and amortisation for 2015.

The company, which owns Irish Ferries, said its revenues rose to €320.6m for the year to the end of December, while it reported EBITDA of €75.5m.

Operating profits for the year jumped almost 75% to €57.2m from €32.7m.

The company said it carried 1.676 million passengers, up 2% on last year. The number of cars it transported rose by 5% to 400,900, while container freight traffic was up 3.4%. Port lifts also increased by 32.9%.

It cited lower fuel prices, stronger sterling and an improving economy as the main factors the increase in revenue and earnings.

The company noted that the strength of sterling increased average yields during the year, while it also increased the attractiveness of Ireland as a tourist destination for UK visitors.

ICG also said its total fuel costs fell  by 26.4% to €39m from €53m, but added that the benefit of lower fuel costs was partially offset by a stronger dollar compared to the euro.

The group paid an interim dividend for 2015 of 3.638 cent per share, and the board is proposing a final dividend of 7.387 cent per share.

This makes a total dividend for 2015 of 11.025 cent per share, an increase of 5% on the previous year.

The company’s chairman John B McGuckian said that it maintains “a pivotal position” in facilitating Ireland’s international trade and tourism and is operationally geared to the economic recovery in Ireland.

“We have seen the benefits of this recovery continue into the early weeks of 2016 which, notwithstanding a weakening in sterling and assuming current oil prices, gives us confidence that we can look forward in 2016, in the absence of unforeseen developments to further growth in revenue and earnings,” the chairman added.

Shares in the company were lower in Dublin trade this afternoon.

ICG operates through two divisions – the ferries division and the container and terminal division.

Revenue in the ferries division last year rose by 10.6% to €203.9m, while EBITDA increased to €63.7m due to increased freight and passenger revenue and lower fuel prices compared to 2014.

Meanwhile, revenues at its container and terminal division rose to €118.2m from €107m, while EBITDA increased to €11.8m from €7.4m.

ICG said that containers at its terminals in Dublin and Belfast were up almost 33% at 248,500 lifts.

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