Irish Ferries operator Irish Continental Group (ICG) has published a trading update for the first four months of 2021, which reveals that its consolidated group revenue increased by 0.4% year-on-year during the period to €89.3 million.
The €89.3 million consolidated group revenue figure is a 12.7% decrease on the consolidated group revenue figure that the company recorded for the same period in 2019.
ICG stated in the trading update, which was published on its website, "For banking covenant purposes pre-IFRS 16 net debt figures were €60.7 million compared to €50.0 million at year end. The increase in net debt is primarily derived from maintenance capital expenditure which is carried out at the beginning of the year."
Ferries Division Data
Revealing figures for its ferry division for the first four months of 2021, ICG stated in the update, "Total [ferries division] revenues recorded in the period to 30 April amounted to €37.1 million (including intra-division charter income), a 9.4% decrease on the prior year (28.3% decrease on 2019). The decrease was principally due to the continued restrictions on non-essential passenger travel imposed by governments across Europe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was partially offset by an increase in freight revenues. Total freight revenues in the period to 8 May 2021 increased by 5.2% over the same period in the prior year and decreased by 1.0% versus the same period in 2019.
"For the year to 8 May, Irish Ferries carried 15,900 cars, a decrease of 62.5% on the previous year. Freight carryings were 83,500 RoRo units, a decrease of 18.9% compared with 2020. Performance against the prior year in the period since our last trading update up to 6 March shows an improving trend, with car carryings and RoRo [roll-on/roll-off] freight down 29.8% and 5.3% respectively on the same period in 2020. The impact of reduced freight carryings has been offset by higher revenue yields as more of our customers availed of our direct services to the continent."
Container And Terminal Division Data
Revealing figures for its container and terminal division for the first four months of 2021, ICG stated in the update, "Total revenues recorded in the period to 30 April amounted to €56.4 million, an 11.9% increase on the prior year (6.0% increase on 2019). This increase was driven by greater capacity and higher volumes.
"For the year to 8 May, container freight volumes shipped were up 11.4% on the previous year at 125,000 teu (20 foot equivalent units) achieved through increased load factors and additional capacity. Units handled at our terminals in Dublin and Belfast increased 11.3% year-on-year to 115,700 lifts. The improvement in volumes versus the corresponding period in the prior year can also be attributed in part to the initial disruption caused by COVID-19 in March/April 2020."
Statements About Recent Developments
Commenting on recent government and company developments, ICG added in the update, "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. ICG would urge the Irish government to prioritise this against the background of low COVID-19 infection rates and increasing vaccination levels. It should be noted that the UK government during this pandemic has never imposed requirements for testing or quarantine for people travelling from anywhere in Ireland to Britain. 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."
ICG's new trading update covers carryings for the year to May 8, 2021, and financial information for the four month period from January 1, 2021, to April 30, 2021.
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