ICG rises as passenger, freight trends improve
Irish Continental Group rose as much as 3.6pc in Dublin trading as the country’s largest ferry company reported a slowing of the falling trend in passenger and freight numbers.
Container freight volumes decreased 19pc in the second half of 2009 from a year earlier, against a fall of 32pc in the first half, Irish Continental said in a regulatory statement today.
The number of passengers and cars carried rose 2pc and 5pc respectively, after first-half declines.
Irish Continental is battling a fall in demand in its two primary markets, Ireland and the UK, as recession prompts customers to cut spending.
Net income declined 38pc last year amid the most challenging trading conditions in Ireland “for many decades,” and the economic environment in 2010 “remains challenging,” the company said.
“This moderation in declines can be seen as a positive,” analyst Dan Cavanagh at Goodbody Stockbrokers in Dublin said in a research note.
“Irish Continental is well positioned to benefit from an upturn in the Irish economy.” Goodbody has a “buy” rating on the stock.
Net income from continuing operations fell to €25.2m from €40.5m, or 162.8 cents.
Irish Continental rose the most since November, climbing as much as 55 cents to €16, and traded at that level at 9:02am local time.