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Irish Ferries owner sees hike in sales

The owner of Irish Ferries, which operates several routes between Dublin and the rest of Europe, said sales and passenger numbers have risen as the economy improves and it adds new routes.

Shipping firm ICG reported a hike in freight volumes in another sign the economy is improving.

Shipping companies flourish when imports and exports rise and tourists decide to visit Ireland or holiday abroad.

While pre-tax profits fell 18.2pc to €5.2m in the first half of the year, due to higher fuel costs, revenues also increased 8.1pc - boosted by the introduction of a new ship.


The company, which operates Irish Ferries, said the introduction of Epsilon - which runs between Dublin and Wales - has helped boost figures. The Epsilon runs between Dublin and Holyhead on weekdays, and Dublin and Cherbourg on weekends.

ICG added that roll-on, roll-off freight volumes were significantly up at 118,100, or an 18.5pc increase, and this trend has continued into the second half of the year.

The company carried almost 151,000 cars during the period - up 5.9pc - and 683,800 passengers.

The company said this growth had continued into the early stages of the second half of the year.

In the eight weeks from early July to August 23, total passengers numbers were up 9pc, while cars carried were up 12pc.

Roll-on roll-off freight volumes remained strong, up 25pc.

''The introduction of the new RoRo ship Epsilon on the Dublin-Holyhead and Dublin-Cherbourg routes has allowed us to grow both our freight and tourism businesses," said chairman John McGuckian.