Irish Ferries operator Irish Continental Group (ICG) has published a financial report for the first half of 2021, which reveals that its revenue increased year-on-year during the period.
ICG stated in the report that was published on its website, "Irish Continental Group plc (ICG), the leading Irish-based maritime transport group, reports its financial performance for the half year ended 30 June 2021… The HY 2021 result is reported against the background of continuing restrictions on non-essential passenger travel first imposed in March 2020 across the EU because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Notwithstanding, the group has continued to focus on its strategic development and has retained a strong liquidity position."
The report includes the following key highlights for HY 2021:
- Group revenue generated totalling €141.6 million, €10.8 million more than HY 2020.
- RoRo freight travel patterns affected by new customs requirements following the exit of the UK from the EU.
- EBIT generated was a loss of €10.3 million, €0.8 million worse than HY 2020.
- EBITDA generated of €12.7 million, €2.7 million more than HY 2020.
- Gross cash balances of €131.1 million (31 December 2020: €150.4 million).
- Net debt at €112.1 million, €23.6 million higher than at the beginning of the year.
- No interim dividend declared (2020: nil).
- Commencement of a new ferry service between Dover (UK) and Calais (France) on 29 June.
- Further investment in environmentally friendly port equipment at Dublin Ferryport Terminals and increased capacity from 2022.
ICG Chairman Statement
In a statement included in the report, ICG chairman John B. McGuckian said, "The continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of the year continued to create an exceptionally challenging trading environment for the group. Travel restrictions in place in the first half of the year, have materially reduced our passenger business. Despite this, as per the prior year the group has maintained services on all of its shipping routes maintaining critical logistical links to the island of Ireland. These services have facilitated not only key logistical links to Britain and the European Union, but have facilitated passenger travel for essential purposes allowing for the movement of critical staff and the repatriation of citizens. The group welcomes the introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate and the easing of restrictions on non-essential passenger travel, however, the timing of its introduction limits the benefits for our key summer season.
"On 31 December 2020, the UK and EU ended the post Brexit transition period. While trade flows have decreased between Ireland and Britain, our flexible fleet has allowed us to adjust capacity on our direct continental RoRo and container shipping services. While this has led to a reduction in RoRo volumes, the change in yield mix has resulted in increased RoRo revenues. This increase in revenue is particularly encouraging as it is against the backdrop of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the introduction of customs requirements on the Irish Sea.
"Still of concern to the group is the lack of implementation of appropriate checks on goods arriving into Northern Ireland from Britain, which are required under the Northern Ireland Protocol. To the extent that goods are destined for the Republic of Ireland, this is causing a distortion in the level playing field as goods that arrive directly into the Republic of Ireland ports from Britain are being checked on arrival.
"On 26 March 2021, ICG subsidiary Irish Ferries announced that it would commence a new ferry service on the Dover-Calais route. This new service launched on 29, June 2021, with the introduction of the Isle of Inishmore on the route.
"I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the group to thank all of our colleagues who have again made the retention of all our services possible. Of particular importance has been the continued dedication of our front line colleagues who have faced into a second year of this pandemic and the restrictions and difficulties it has created. Again, it is the dedication of all our staff in the ports and terminals and the crew of our ships that have kept our ships sailing, our terminals operating and our supply lines open."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.