Business Irish

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Irish Ferries operator results show low sterling exposure

ICG boss Eamonn Rothwell. Photo: Mac Innes
ICG boss Eamonn Rothwell. Photo: Mac Innes
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Ferry operator Irish Continental Group (ICG) reported a 1.6pc rise in revenues in the year so far, and said it has a low level of exposure to sterling.

The company behind Irish Ferries, which operates between Ireland and Britain, said in a trading update that the impact of the plunge in sterling since the Brexit vote in June had so far been offset by lower costs.

The company said it had a low level of net sterling exposure. In the 10 months to the end of October, Irish Continental Group's (ICG) consolidated revenue was €280.2m, up 1.6pc from a year ago, it said.

Net debt stood at €25.6m at the end of the period, compared to €44.3m at the end of 2015. Construction of a new cruise ferry announced on May 31 remains on schedule for delivery in May 2018, the company said.

Ahead of the Brexit vote, ICG chief executive Eamonn Rothwell said preparing for a UK exit was a "waste of time", given the unknown shape of any new arrangement and the time scales involved.

One potential boon for ICG, if Brexit becomes a reality, would be a return of duty-free.

Merrion Stockbrokers said the latest results "illustrate the robustness of ICG's business model as car volumes and RoRo freight were up 3pc and 5pc respectively year over year".

It noted that the Ferries Division, which is approximately 65pc of ICG's revenue, reported sales of €181m up to the end of October, a 2.5pc increase.

"ICG's business model continues to be rock solid with large barriers to entry. The company's balance sheet is in stellar shape. Furthermore, the company throws off a significant amount of cash and currently has a 9pc free cash flow yield," Merrion said.

Shares were little changed at €4.3420 each yesterday.

Irish Independent

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