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Irish Ferries traffic rises as owner says ‘some normality’ has returned


Irish Continental Group subsidiary Irish Ferries WB Yeats vessel

Irish Continental Group subsidiary Irish Ferries WB Yeats vessel

Irish Continental Group subsidiary Irish Ferries WB Yeats vessel

Ferry operator Irish Continental Group has recorded a surge in revenues in the year to October 31 as the company reported a return to “some normality” across its markets following the pandemic.

Revenues at the Dublin-listed company rose to €500.5m in the period to October 31, a rise of 62.1pc on 2019 levels before the pandemic.

This also reflected a 78.9pc increase compared with the same period last year.

The group recorded revenues of €338m across its ferries division, a rise of 133.9pc from the same period in 2021.

This was driven by the easing of travel restrictions, an increase in fuel surcharges, as well as the Dover-Calais route introduced in June 2021.

The volume of cars carried also increased by 198pc, with the group transporting 525,600 vehicles in the year to November 19.

Total revenues in the container and terminal division of the group in the period to October 31 were up 30pc to €190.5m on the same period last year.

This increase was attributed to the passing through of higher fuel costs, as well as vessel charter rates.

However, the company highlighted that container freight volumes shipped in the year to November 19 were down 7.4pc compared with 2021.

Units handed in Dublin and Belfast were down 4.5pc year-on-year, according to the group.

In an update from the company, Irish Continental said: “Deep sea container movements are usually a leading indicator for economic slowdown and the recent weakness here is not unexpected.”

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The Irish Ferries owner also highlighted higher inflation and higher interest rates, as well as ongoing fuel price rises, as potential challenges for the coming year.

“While we assume the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic has passed and some normality to our markets has returned, the level of inflation faced by the business and our customers is concerning,” the company said.

“While fuel prices may ease versus earlier in the year with the expected slowdown in economic activity, other costs in the business have increased.”

Irish Continental Group added that the business has so far passed on these extra costs to customers and said the group was well placed for this tougher environment.

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