Dublin Port passenger numbers dip but freight volumes climb

First quarter data reveals Dublin Port Company to pay €11.7m to exchequer

Dublin Port: Has recorded a growth in freight volumes of 4.2%, with a rise in imports and exports. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill

Dublin Port: Has recorded a growth in freight volumes of 4.2%, with a rise in imports and exports. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill

 

Passenger volumes through Dublin Port fell 9.3 per cent in the first three months of 2017 compared with the same period last year. However, there was a growth in freight volumes of 4.2 per cent, with a rise in both imports and exports.

Releasing its trade statistics for the first quarter, Dublin Port Company said it would pay a €11.7 million dividend to the State this year following growth in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of 8.8 per cent to €53.6 million in 2016. The dividend is up on the €10.9 million paid last year.

The company said the reduction in tourist volumes for the first quarter were due primarily to Easter falling earlier this year than last. However, recent figures from the Central Statistics Office showed that trips by UK residents to Ireland decreased by 5.9 per cent between December 2016 and February 2017 compared to the same period the previous year. The weakness of sterling may be a factor in this.

Freight recovery

Commenting on the freight statistics, chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly said: “What we are seeing in Dublin Port’s volumes is entirely consistent with the strong recovery evident in the domestic economy in recent years.”

The largest part of Dublin Port’s business are roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) freight trailers and lift on/lift off (lo-lo) containers. The former grew by 7.7 per cent in the first three months of this year while lo-lo containers only grew by 0.1 per cent.

The increase in ro-ro trailers and lo-lo containers contributed to a total throughput in the first quarter of 8.7 million gross tonnes arriving into Dublin port with 1,873 ship arrivals, equivalent to 20 ships a day.

Commenting on the long-term development of Dublin Port, Mr O’Reilly said: “We have a 10-year €600 million capital investment programme well under way to make sure that Dublin Port can continue to meet demand between now and 2040.”

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