Irish Continental, Ireland’s leading maritime transport firm, has reported a 30.6pc jump in operating profit for the first six months of the year.
Revenue for ICG, which operates the Irish Ferries and Eucon brands, also rose 3.3pc to €120.9m compared to the same period last year.
Lower fuel costs and increased freight carryings helped the passenger and freight shipping company generate an operating profit of €6.4m.
At the same time, however, pre-tax earnings fell by 10.8pc to €3.3m at end June 2013, a drop of €400,000 on an annual basis.
This was attributed to a €1m net pension expense coupled with €2.1m in bank interest. Interim dividend was maintained at 33c.
Chairman John McGuckian said: ''This was a positive half years trading with increases in revenue and operating profit driven mainly by higher freight carryings and lower fuel costs, partially offset by weaker passenger markets.”
“Summer trading has been encouraging across most business areas, with volume growth in passenger and freight offset by weaker sterling, which affects tourism yields.''
Trading for ICG fell 5.8pc on the Irish Stock Exchange this morning.