Monday 20 August 2018

Shares in ICG hit by delay to new ferry

ICG owns the Irish Ferries brand. Stock image
ICG owns the Irish Ferries brand. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The delayed delivery this summer of the WB Yeats passenger ship has seen shares in Irish Continental Group (ICG) fall as much as 2.6pc, with thousands of holidaymakers left inconvenienced and out of pocket.

The company, which owns the Irish Ferries brand, confirmed over the weekend that delivery of its new vessel from the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselchaft shipyard in Germany will be delayed beyond the July date when it was expected to come into service on the Dublin-Cherbourg route.

The €154m ship will accommodate almost 1,900 passengers and crew, have 435 cabins and space for 165 freight vehicles as well as 300 cars.

Customers booked on the vessel took to media over the weekend in a furious backlash against Irish Continental after it cancelled all bookings on the ship between July 12 and July 29.

It will accommodate passengers on its Oscar Wilde ship out of Rosslare instead, but not on passengers' booked date of travel. Affected passengers, who won't be offered a full refund, have been given a €150 voucher to use in 2019 on its Ireland-France routes.

"While clearly an inconvenience for those passengers concerned, and potential lost contribution for ICG over the three-week period, it should be viewed in the context of the present value of cash flows derived from an investment having an expected life of 40 years," noted Goodbody Stockbrokers' analyst Gerry Hennigan.

He said that despite the delayed introduction of the vessel, Goodbody is maintaining its projection that ICG will generate ebitda of €83m in the current year.

Irish Independent

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