Trading Update From Irish Continental Group

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Volumes (Year to date, 8 May 2021)

-62.5% cars

-18.9% roro

+11.4% TEU containers

+11.3% terminal lifts

Financial information for the first four months of 2021

Consolidated Group revenue in the period was €89.3 million, an increase of 0.4% compared with last year and a 12.7% decrease on 2019.


Ferries Division

  • Total revenues recorded in the period to 30 April amounted to €37.1 million (including intra-division charter income), -9.4% (-28.3% on 2019). The decrease was principally due to the continued restrictions on non-essential passenger travel. This was partially offset by an increase in freight revenues.
  • Total freight revenues +5.2% over the same period in the prior year and decreased by 1.0% versus the same period in 2019.

Recent Developments

  • ICG welcomes the recent comments made by the Irish Government about the reintroduction of unrestricted travel in the Common Travel Area between Britain and Ireland. Urgent clarity is needed regarding dates so that ICG can ensure it is ready from an operational perspective.
  • On 26 March, ICG subsidiary Irish Ferries announced that it would commence a new ferry service on the Dover – Calais route. Plans are significantly advanced with a view to commencing this service during summer 2021.

(*) note from editor: the Irish Ferries ropax service will be started with ISLE OF INISHMORE. We understand a second vessel has been secured and will be added later.

Irish Continental Group Annual Report: RoRo Freight Up, Pax Down

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  • Revenue -22.5% to €277.1 million
  • EBITDA -51.5% to €42.1 million principally due to Covid-19 travel restrictions
  • EBIT -116% to -€10.4 million

Year-end net debt after total capital expenditure of €30.1 million was €88.5 million, 2.1 times EBITDA (pre-non-trading items), and 1.7 times under banking covenant definitions.

Strong financial position with available liquidity comprising cash and committed bank facilities of €240.8 million at 31 December 2020.

Ferry Division: -65.8% cars and -66.3% passengers, but roro freight units went up 7.1% (or 335,000 units in total)


Covid-19 has had a material impact on ICG’s passenger business, and any recovery is unlikely while government restrictions remain in place, however ICG remains hopeful that the rollout of vaccinations will result in a return to international travel in our markets during 2021.

The current demand on the direct routes to the Continent is expected to decrease as importers, exporters and government agencies become more familiar with new requirements following Brexit.

The ICG report says that decline will be in favour of the landbridge, which has the benefits of cost, frequency, time and reliability.

Irish Continental Group: Strong Financial Position in spite of Challenging Conditions

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Volumes (Year to date, 21 November 2020)

  • -66.8% Cars 122,700 (369,700)
  • -68% Passengers
  • +4.4% RoRo Freight 293,500 (281,200)
  • -8.9% Container TEU 287,200 (315,100)
  • -11.7% Terminal Lifts 258,600 (293,000)

Financial information for the first ten months of 2020:

Consolidated Group revenue €229 million (-26%)

The Ferries Division has faced challenging trading conditions in its Irish Ferries passenger business following the continuation of travel restrictions. In the year to 21 November car volumes are down 67% with total passenger volumes down 68% compared with 2019. This has had a material impact on passenger revenues, which were 71% lower in the year to 31 October 2020 compared to 2019.


The Ferries Division is highly dependent on trade flows between Ireland and the UK. Therefore any slowdown in either economy as a result of the exit of the UK from the EU will likely have an effect on Irish Ferries’ carryings. The company continues to work with all relevant regulatory authorities to ensure that our systems are prepared for the end of the Brexit transition period.

The Group remains in a strong financial position with cash and undrawn committed credit facilities at 31 October of €232.4 million and net debt of €96.7 million (pre-IFRS 16: €63.2 million).

Irish Continental Group H1: Freight is Stable – Strong Liquidity Position

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Traffic volumes in H1, 2020 (Ferries Division)

  • -63.9% Passengers 233.9k (648k)
  • -64.9% Cars 56.6k (161.2k)
  • -2.7% RoRo freight 149.4k (153.6k)

Financial figures H1, 2020 (ICG)

  • Revenue EUR 130.8 million (166.8)
  • EBITDA EUR 10 million (30)
  • EBIT EUR -9.5 million (11.6)

Gross cash balances EUR 132.5 million (31 December 2019: 110.9 million).

Net Debt at EUR 103.3 million is 25.7 million lower than at the beginning of the year.

Depressed economic activity and travel restrictions = significant reduction in passenger traffic while freight activity across the Group has been less affected.

The Group has continued to focus on its strategic development and has retained a strong liquidity position.


By | 2020 Newsletter week 31 | No Comments

Irish Continental Group H1: Strong Freight Performance Despite Pandemic

It is no surprise to see that the transportation of goods has kept ICG busy, while the passenger figures dropped considerably.

Volumes (Half Year 30 June 2020)

  • -65.0% Cars
  • -2.7% RoRo Freight
  • -11.7% Container Freight (teu)
  • -13.5% Terminal Lifts

H1 Finance (unaudited)

  • -21.6% Consolidated Group revenue €130.8 million
  • -33.3% Total revenues €61.6 million

The decrease was principally due to lower passenger volumes resulting from the travel restrictions introduced across the EU due to the Covid19 pandemic.


By | 2020 Newsletter week 25 | No Comments

A Strong Irish Continental Group Cancels Its Newbuilding


In a statement, Irish Continental Group said that Covid-19 makes it difficult to estimate the full year financial impact on the Group.

Reason is the significant reduction in current passenger traffic and forward bookings for what is normally the peak Summer passenger season for ICG’s Irish Ferries services.

“It is very difficult to estimate the full year financial impact on the Group, as the reduction in passenger revenue will be material. In the period from 1/1 to 6/6 car volumes are down 62% with total passenger volumes down 60%.

The impact of Covid-19 on roro has been limited.  Roro volumes are down 4%, container volumes are down 13% with container lifts on ICG terminals down 14%.


In the statement, ICG also talks about the Public Services Obligation (PSO) model from the Irish Government. “This was not an approach that we recommended as we believe this model was liable to create distortions in the marketplace and could be open to legal challenge. For both these reasons we decided not to participate in this PSO model, but we committed, without any Government support, to continue operating our lossmaking routes which provide a vital lifeline service to our Island.


ICG announced it has terminated its newbuilding contract with the German shipbuilder FSG.


The Group is in a strong financial position to weather this Covid-19 storm.

Irish Continental Group’s Ferries Division Performing Particularly Strongly

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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:

+1.6% cars

+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.


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Stena AB Interim Report H1

Ferry & Ro-Ro highlights:

Ferry Operations

EBITDA increased compared to last year mainly due to continued positive volumes for cars (3%) and passengers (1%).

Shipping (Ro-Ro)

Strong contract coverage and utilization rate across the Ro-Ro fleet, offset by lower charter income as a result of vessels sold in 2018.

Irish Continental Group Reports H1

Key figures for the first 6 months (Group)

  • +6.1% Revenue
  • +14.9% EBITDA (pre non-trading items)
  • -12.0% EBIT (including non-trading items)

Key figures for the first 6 months (Ferries)

  • +1.5%  Revenue
  • +4.8%  EBITDA
  • -20.3% EBIT (including non-trading items)


  • -5.7% cars
  • +7.3% ro-ro freight


By | 2019 Newsletter week 21 | No Comments

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)
-8.5% Cars
+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.

Irish Continental Group Sells OSCAR WILDE To MSC Group

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Irish Continental Group plc has entered into a bareboat hire purchase agreement for the sale of the 1987-built ferry OSCAR WILDE to MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA.

The total gross consideration for the sale is €28.9 million, payable in instalments over 6 years, up to 2025.

Delivery is expected to take place this month.

Recently MSC’s ferry subsidiary SNAV acquired AURELIA for the Adriatic Sea route Ancona-Split.