Irish Ferries’ parent records revenue decrease

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The Irish Continental Group (ICG), the parent company of Irish Ferries, has issued financial statements for its Ferry, Container and Terminal Divisions. Consolidated Group revenue in the period to 30 June 2020 was €130.8 million, a decrease of 21.6% compared with last year. Net debt at the end of June was €103.3 million (€71.8 million pre IFRS16) million compared with €129.0 million (€93.5 million pre IFRS16) at 31 December 2019.

Total revenues for ICG’s Ferries Division recorded in the period to 30 June amounted to €61.6 million (including intra-division charter income), a 33.3% decrease on the prior year. The decrease was principally due to lower passenger volumes resulting from the travel restrictions introduced across the EU due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the year to 25 July, Irish Ferries carried 68,900 cars, a decrease of 67.2% on the previous year. Freight carryings were 173,500 RoRo units, a decrease of 1.1% compared with 2019.

Total revenues for its Container and Terminal Division recorded in the period to 30 June amounted to €73.2 million, a 6.6% decrease on the prior year. This decrease is principally related to supply chain disruption due to the effects of Covid-19. For the year to 25 July container freight volumes shipped were down 10.5% on the previous year at 178,300 teu (twenty-foot equivalent units). Units handled at its terminals in Dublin and Belfast decreased 13.6% year on year to 160,100 lifts.

The key challenge for ICG during the Covid-19 pandemic has been maintaining its shipping schedules which are critical to the supply chain on and off the Island of Ireland. These services have provided a vital lifeline service for food, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and in more recent times a high level of e-commerce goods. In the absence of airline capacity, it has also offered a vital lifeline service for essential passenger travel, including returning medical and caring volunteers and technicians to fix vital equipment in our hospitals and care centres.

“We have also provided an ability for our citizens to repatriate, where they must do so, to deal with emergencies at home. While we have been successful in meeting this challenge, the continuation of travel restrictions throughout our peak summer season has had a material impact on our passenger carryings on ICG’s Irish Ferries services. We have raised our concerns with the Irish Government on the current policy of asking people from Britain who visit Ireland to self-isolate for two weeks, while allowing unrestricted transit via Northern Ireland. We believe this is clearly anomalous and puts the retention of the Common Travel Area between Ireland and Britain at risk,” said a company spokesperson.

Irish Ferries subsidiary Dublin Ferryport Terminal (DFT), was successful in the public tender to operate a new Container Depot at the new Dublin Inland Port. DFT has signed an agreement to enter into a 20-year lease for this operation on completion of certain civil works by the landlord. These works are expected to commence in August, with the facility becoming operational during 2021. This facility will be used for the remote storage, maintenance and upgrade of empty container boxes, releasing valuable capacity for the handling of containers in the port area. The Dublin Inland Port will be located adjacent to Dublin Airport with direct access to the M50 Motorway (Dublin Ring Road) and the Port Tunnel.

Meanwhile, its container division Eucon has announced that DFT accepted the delivery of 2 new RTG’s over the last couple of days. The units were delivered fully assembled from the Cosco Shipping M/v DA JI. This brings the total number of RTG’s to 12 at DFT of which 4 are new electric remote control semi-automated. This vessel also has 3 RTG’s on board which will commence off loading at BCT in Belfast and bring the total number of RTG’s in the new development there to eight.