Irish Continental reports 10.8% fall in pre-tax profits
Higher freight carryings and low fuel costs lead to 30.6% jump in operating profit
Irish Ferries’ freight volumes were up 7.9 per cent to 99,700 units compared with the first half of 2012. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times
Irish Continental Group has reported a 10.8 per cent fall in pre-tax profits for the first half of the year, despite a 30.6 per cent jump in operating profit.
Revenue at the ferry company rose 3.3 per cent in the period to €120.9 million.
The rise in operating profit to €6.4 million was driven mainly by higher freight carryings and lower fuel costs, which helped to offset low passenger numbers, company chairman John McGuckian said.
“Summer trading has been encouraging across most business areas, with volume growth in passenger and freight offset by weaker sterling, which affects tourism yields,” he added.
In the first half of the year, 678,400 passengers were carried by the company, an increase of 0.3 per cent, while 142,500 cars were carried, down 4.2 per cent.
Irish Ferries’ freight volumes were up 7.9 per cent to 99,700 units compared with the first half of 2012.
Net debt at the company was down to €105 million from €116 million at the end of December 2012.
The company’s outlook for the remainder of the year is for a continuation of the trends seen in the first half of 2013, with a particular growth in freight. A weak sterling is expected to impact negatively on car and passenger numbers travelling from the UK.