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Irish Continental faces shareholder rebellion over pay


Ferries: Irish Ferries ‘WB Yeats’ RORO passenger and freight vessel

Ferries: Irish Ferries ‘WB Yeats’ RORO passenger and freight vessel

Ferries: Irish Ferries ‘WB Yeats’ RORO passenger and freight vessel

Almost a third of shareholders in Irish Ferries operator Irish Continental Group voted against its remuneration report for the year ended December 2019.

In addition, just over a fifth of shareholders voted down the reappointment to the board of independent non- executive director Brian O'Kelly.

Mr O'Kelly is chairman of ICG's remuneration committee.

The board of ICG said it had noted the votes by minority shareholders against the advisory resolution on the remuneration report and on the re-election of Mr O'Kelly, who is an executive at stockbroking firm Goodbody.

"As part of ongoing engagement with shareholders ahead of the AGM, the board received feedback from a number of shareholders and has a clear understanding of their views and expectations," ICG said.

"In the period ahead, the board will review all feedback from shareholders and build on past practice and continue its programme of engagement with shareholders on this and other matters," it added.

Ahead of yesterday's annual general meeting, the company reported group revenue of €130.8m for the six months to June 30, a decrease of 21.6pc compared with last year, according to a trading update.

The revenue hit came amid falling passenger numbers due to travel restrictions because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the group's ferries division, revenue fell by 33pc, as the company carried 65pc fewer cars than in the same period last year.

Its container and terminal division reported a 6.6pc decrease in revenue, primarily related to supply chain disruption due to the effects of Covid-19.

Despite the fall in revenues, the group said it was in a "strong" financial position to weather the Covid-19 storm. Net debt at the end of June was €103.3m, down from €129m at December 31.

Davy analyst Stephen Furlong said the update from ICG was "reasonably robust."

"The summer tourism season may be largely lost but is still operating at circa 30pc of normal capacity. The resilience of the business in a tough year is noteworthy, leaving ICG well placed when recovery comes," Mr Furlong said.

"Cost savings and the resilience of supply chains to and from the island are to the fore," he added.

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The company also said that its Irish Ferries subsidiary Dublin Ferryport Terminal (DFT) won a public tender to operate a new container depot at the new Dublin Inland Port.

DFT has signed an agreement to enter into a 20-year lease for this operation.

This new facility will be used for the remote storage, maintenance and upgrade of empty container boxes, releasing valuable capacity for the handling of containers in the port itself.

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