Wednesday 21 February 2018

Irish Continental Group's Rothwell rules out retiring as ferry company drives down debt

Eamonn Rothwell of ICG
Eamonn Rothwell of ICG
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Irish Continental Group (ICG) chief executive Eamonn Rothwell is intending to stay on at the company and has categorically ruled out retirement, stating that it is "not on the agenda".

The ICG boss told the Sunday Independent he had no intention of retiring despite turning 60 last year.

He was speaking after the company's annual general meeting in the Gibson Hotel on Friday where the company posted increased revenues in the opening four months of the year of €91.4m.

Rothwell also said the company is not preparing for a British exit from the EU as he deemed it impossible to do so.

"It's a complex thing, it's a political decision at the end of the day.

"If people want to leave and if the vote is against, which looks unlikely based on the bookies' odds, it will take two years at a minimum to negotiate an exit.

"So you can't possibly anticipate the various aspects of what that ­negotiating settlement might look like.

"So to try and start planning around something that will take two years to negotiate would quite frankly be a waste of time," he said.

Stockbrokers have predicted ICG may be debt free by the end of 2016 and the company has gone some way in achieving that in the first four months of the year.

Net debt at the end of April was €25.9m compared with €44.3m at the end of December.

However, despite the progress made by the firm in reducing the company's debt, Rothwell refused to be drawn on a forecast for the remainder of the year.

"We don't ever forecast ahead and the summer is a key trading period for us.

"At the end of August, ­September we'll have a better feel for the year, but at this stage we don't give an outlook in the statement," he said.

Sunday Indo Business

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