Irish Continental Group has reported a 5.8% increase in group revenue €76.7m for the first four months of 2014. This compares with revenues of €72.5m the same time last year.

In an interim management statement, the Irish Ferries' owner said that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were €2.9m compared with €4.8m the same time in 2013. 

ICG said that in the 20 weeks up to May 17, Irish Ferries carried 95,000 cars, an increase of 5% on the previous year. 

While car passenger numbers were up, in line with the car volumes, total passenger volumes were in line with the previous year at 441,100 due to a fall in foot passenger carryings.

During the period under review, ICG started its weekly Dublin to Cherbourg service, along with eight extra round trips on the Dublin-Holyhead route. 

It said that today's results reflect the additional costs of operating the "Epsilon" during the start-up phase on both the Dublin-Cherbourg and Dublin-Holyhead routes.

ICG noted that its business is significantly weighted towards the second half of the year when normally a higher proportion of the group's operating profit is generated than in the first six months.