While Irish Continental Group retains a strong liquidity position, the Directors consider it prudent not to proceed with the final dividend payment against this background of market uncertainty and will no longer propose a resolution to approve the dividend at the AGM.
ICG Boss Says Ferries Subsidy ‘Wasting Taxpayers’ Money’
Eamonn Rothwell, chief executive of Irish Continental Group has warned that any move by the new Government to extend a subsidy scheme to keep certain sea routes going during the Covid-19 pandemic would be a “waste of taxpayers’ money” and further distort the market.
French Stevedore Firm Goes Into Liquidation, Creating A Challenge For Condor
Condor’s St Malo operations face a period of uncertainty as the company which provides its freight and foot passenger baggage services at the port has been placed into liquidation.
Irish Continental Group (ICG) issued a trading update which covers carryings for the year to date to 23 November 2019 and financial information for the first ten months of 2019.
Consolidated Group revenue in the period was €308.8 million, an increase of €23.5 million or 8.2% compared with last year. While increases were achieved across all of the Group’s revenue streams, a significant proportion of the improvement arises in the Ferries Division from the improved schedule integrity following the prior year disruptions.
The overall effect of the continuing uncertainty about Brexit is generating negative impact on consumer sentiment and trade flows as investment decisions are delayed.
Ferries Division: Total revenues recorded in the period to 31 October amounted to EUR 184.3 million, a 7.1% increase on the prior year. This increase was driven by schedule changes, additional cruise ferry capacity following the entry into service of the W.B. Yeats in January replacing the previous Oscar Wilde and improved schedule integrity following the significant disruptions in the second half of 2018.
For the year to 23 November:
+10.5% roro units
A second cruise ferry is being built in Flensburg, with a contracted delivery of late 2020. It is intended that this vessel will service the Dublin/Holyhead route alongside the existing Ulysses with the chartered Epsilon being returned to its owners.
In its trading update (year to date, 11 May 2019), Irish Continental Group notes healthy figures for ro-ro freight, but a little dip in tourism transport.
ICG’s Ferries Division Irish Ferries (1 January – 11 May)
+6.6% Ro-Ro Freight
ICG’s Ferries Division Irish Ferries (1 January – 30 April)
-1.1% Total revenues (including intra-division charter income). The decrease was principally due to lower tourism volumes resulting from the planned suspension of fastcraft services on the Dublin to Holyhead route in the period up to 14 March compared to the prior year, partially offset through increased freight volumes.
The planned suspension of fastcraft sailings in the off-peak season was the primary reason for reduced tourism carrying in the period. In addition, the proposed withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union had some negative impact on UK passenger bookings in the lead up to the proposed exit date of 29 March 2019.
The recent agreement between the Irish and British government to continue and formalise the Common Travel Area whatever the outcome of the UK withdrawal negotiations is a positive development, says ICG.
ICG Needs To Launch Charm Offensive
More than €165 million has been wiped off the value of Irish Continental Group since last October, writes Richard Cantillon in the Irish Times. The article has to be seen in the context of the absence of ULYSSES, which has technical issues, and the costs caused by the delay of newbuilding W.B. YEATS.
However, in the bigger picture, the fleet issues are relatively minor.
ICG Concludes An Additional €80 Million Financing Facility With The European Investment Bank
Irish Continental Group PLC has concluded an additional financing facility with the European Investment Bank. It comprises a committed €80 million drawing limit and is available for drawing during July 2018. Repayments are on an amortising basis over a 12-year term.
The facility will be used to finance the construction of the second new vessel for Irish Ferries.
ICG, parent company of Irish Ferries, reports a solid financial performance for the year ended 31 December 2017.
Revenue up 3.0% to €335.1 million (€325.4 million)
EBITDA down 3.0% to €81.0 million (€83.5 million)
Ro-ro freight volumes up 0.5% to 287,500 units (286,100 units)
Cars up 2.4% to 424,000 units (414,100 units)
Irish Continental announced the sale of JONATHAN SWIFT to Balearia Eurolineas Maritimas S.A. for a price of €15.5 million.
Austal-built JONATHAN SWIFT entered service in 1999. She operated on Irish Ferries’ Dublin – Holyhead route.
The vessel is to be delivered to Balearia by the end of April 2018.
ICG’s high-speed craft WESTPAC EXPRESS (2001), which was recently redelivered following a period of twenty months on external charter, will replace her. She is currently undergoing a refurbishment programme.
Photo: WESTPAC EXPRESS © Irish Ferries
As expected the fast ferry has been redelivered to Irish Continental Group at the end of November as per the terms of the charter agreement with Sealift LLC. The Austal catamaran had been on charter in Asia since its acquisition on 1 June 2016.
In a stock exchange release, ICG says that the vessel will be refurbished to bring it up to Irish Ferries passenger service standards. That doesn’t mean automatically that the WESTPAC EXPRESS will be used on the Irish Sea instead of the JONATHAN SWIFT. She might be chartered out.
JONATHAN SWIFT is faster but WESTPAC EXPRESS is larger.
To be followed.
ICG published a trading update, covering carryings for the year to date to 11 November 2017.
- Ro-Ro freight: 247,700 (246,500) =+0.5%
- Cars: 385,100 (376,800) = +2.2%
- Passengers: not included in the update.
Trading update with financial information for the first ten months of 2017.
- Consolidated Group revenue: EUR 288.9 million = +3.1%
- Ferries Division total revenues: EUR 184.4 million = +1.4%
- In the period since 30 June carryings grew at 1.6% underperforming market growth rates as the division has focused on higher yielding accompanied freight traffic in advance of the introduction of the new ferry W.B. YEATS.
- The Euro value of the division’s Sterling originating revenues have been affected by weaker Sterling but this has been partly mitigated by offsetting improvement from Sterling based costs.
- Higher bunker costs.