Irish Ferries full-year revenues jump 10%

Pre-tax profits down slightly to €54.1m as revenues rise from €290.1m to €320.6m

Overall, the total number of passengers carried last year - comprising car, coach and foot passengers - was flat at 3.2 million

Overall, the total number of passengers carried last year - comprising car, coach and foot passengers - was flat at 3.2 million

 

Revenues at Irish Continental Group (ICG) jumped 10 per cent last year to €320.6 million from €290.1 million a year earlier on the back of increased passengers, lower fuel prices and currency fluctuations.

However, the Irish Ferries’ owner pretax profits declined slightly from €56.7 million to €54.1 million.

ICG reported full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) of €75.5 million, up 49.5 per cent on the €50.5 million recorded a year earlier.

Operating profits were up 74.9 per cent from €32.7 million to €57.2 million.

Adjusted Earnings Per Share (EPS), which excludes non-trading items, and the net interest cost on defined benefit pension obligations, was 87.7 per cent higher at 29.1 cent. The group’s return on average capital employed (Roace) also increased significantly to 36.7 per cent versus 20.5 in 2014.

The company made a total dividend for 2015 of 11.025 cent per ICG unit, an increase of 5 per cent on the prior year.

Revenues in the group’s ferries division was 10.6 per cent higher, rising from €184.3 million to €203.9 million. Ebitda rose to €63.7 million from €43.1 million.

Cars carried rose 0.5 per cent over the year to 400,000 from 381,800 with volumes up 7.1 per cent in the first half, an up 3.6 per cent in the latter part of 2015.

Passenger numbers were up 2 per cent overall at 1.676 million versus 1.643 million a year earlier with volumes up 2.6 per cent in the first six months of 2015 and by 1.5 per cent in the second half.

Overall, the total number of passengers carried - comprising car, coach and foot passengers - was flat at 3.2 million.

Roll-on, Roll-off

The roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) freight market between the Republic of Ireland, and the UK. and France, continued to grow last year, with the total number of trucks and trailers up 6 per cent to approximately 888,000 units. On an all-island basis, the market was up around 4 per cent to approximately 1.66 million units, ICG said.

Revenue in the group’s container and terminal division increased to €118.2 million from €107 million a year earlier.

ICG chairman John B McGurkian said trading conditions have remained favourable for the group into 2016 with car volumes up 4 per cent on last year and passenger carryings up 1 per cent on the same period a year ago. RoRo freight volumes are up 14 per cent so far this year, while in the container and terminal division, containers carried are up 12 for the first two months.

“Lower world fuel prices will continue to help performance although the recent weakening of sterling will affect the euro value of UK originating revenues. As a result of these factors, and the ongoing improvement in the economic outlook in our sphere of operations, we look forward, in the absence of unforeseen circumstances, to further growth in revenue and earnings for the financial year 2016,” said Mr McGurkian.

Shares in ICG were up 3.1 per cent in early trading in Dublin following publication of the results.

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