| 9°C Dublin

ICG spends €10m on share buyback

Ferry group Irish Continental has forked out more than €10m to buy back its own shares.

In a filing to the stock exchange yesterday evening, ICG, which trades as Irish Ferries, said it had bought back 700,000 shares yesterday for €14.50 each at a cost of €10.1m.

ICG said the stock, which represented 2.8pc of its previously issued shares, will be cancelled.

ICG has strong cash flow from its operations and no short-term requirement to replace any part of its fleet, which largely plies the Irish Sea but also serves France.

Chief executive Eamonn Rothwell, speaking after the group's AGM late last month, said he didn't see any argument for accumulating cash balances.

But he declined at the time to say when or if the company would engage in any share buybacks.

"If you were doing share buybacks, you'd do them on an opportunistic basis. You wouldn't announce them to the market because you wouldn't necessarily want to buy shares at a higher price," the former stockbroker said.

Mr Rothwell owns about 16pc of ICG. Shares in the group closed down just over 0.5pc yesterday at €14.92.

Irish Independent