Irish Ferries owner records 9.6% jump in revenues
Shares surge in early morning trading on positive results
The company recorded a 14 per cent growth in its ferries division and a 2.6 per cent rise for its container and terminal business.
The group said revenues rose by 9.6 per cent last year to €290.1 million on the back of strong growth in its ferries division.
Pre-tax profits jumped from €23.7 million to €56.7 million for 2014 with operating profits rising 9 per cent to €32.7 million from €30 million a year earlier.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) rose 2.6 per cent to €50.5 million.
Operating costs rose 11.2 per cent to €239.6 million as the company absorbed the full cost of the new vessel ‘Wpsilon’ introduced in late 2013.
“The strong momentum, evident in the fourth quarter of 2014 has continued into early 2015 giving us confidence that we can look forward in 2015, in the absence of unforeseen developments and assuming continued lower oil prices, to strong growth in revenue and earnings,” said chairman John B McGurkian.
The company recorded a 14 per cent growth in its ferries division and a 2.6 per cent rise for its container and terminal business. In addition, the company said roll on-roll-off (ROLO) freight volumes rose 20 per cent while car carryings and passengers were up 8.8 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.
During the year the group paid the final dividend for 2013 of 6.7 cent per ICG unit. It also paid an interim dividend for 2014 of 3.465 cent per unit, and the board is proposing a final dividend of 7.035 cent per Unit, payable in June, making a total dividend for 2015 of 10.5 cent per ICG Unit, an increase of 5 per cent on the prior year.
Net debt at year-end was €61.3 million, which represents 1.2 times ebitda. Capital expenditure totalled €8 million, compared to €8.7 million for 2013.
In a note to investors, Davy said the full-year results were impressive.
“ICG remains a consistently strong cash flow story. Its structural low-cost base, healthy slot positions and market shares and strong asset utilisation provide it with inherent competitive advantages,” it said.