Irish Continental Group surges to €1bn for first time

ICG’s rise in market value comes on the back of economic growth and sterling strength

ICG chief executive Eamonn Rothwell: he owns 14.7 per cent of the shipping group

ICG chief executive Eamonn Rothwell: he owns 14.7 per cent of the shipping group

 

Ferries and freight business Irish Continental Group yesterday surpassed the €1 billion mark in market capitalisation for the first time.

However, by close of trading, the market cap of the Irish Ferries owner had dropped back to €999.5 million. Shares in the shipping group finished up 0.5 per cent at €5.38.

Investec head of equity research Gerard Moore said yesterday’s surge in market value to above €1 billion comes on the back of economic growth and sterling strength. “The share price has been very strong this year due to ongoing economic recovery in Ireland; a stronger pound sterling which ICG has been seen as a beneficiary of; and deals done by the company which have been well received by the market.”

He said the deals include the purchase of four container vessels in the last few months, for one quarter of their build cost.

The rising market cap is good news for ICG chief executive Eamonn Rothwell (right) who owns 14.7 per cent of the shipping group. ICG’s brief move above the €1 billion mark follows strong earnings. For the nine months to the end of September, group revenue was up 9.9 per cent to €248.6 million, versus €226.3 million for the same period in 2014. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) for the nine months was €64.1 million as against €42.4 million last year while operating profit totalled €50.6 million versus €29.2 million for the same nine-month period last year.

Irish Continental said revenues rose to €105.5 million in the three months to the end of September from €95.6 million during the same quarter last year. Ebitda increased from €28.4 million to €38.6 million, and operating profit in the quarter was €34.2 million as against €24 million in the same period in 2014.

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