Shipping and ferry company Irish Continental Group has reported a 8.1% rise in revenue in the first half of the year, thanks to the introduction of a new ship late last year.

However pre-tax profit at the firm fell 18.2% during the same period to €5.2m, as fuel costs increased.

ICG said the launch of its Epsilon ship, which runs between Dublin and Holyhead on weekdays and Dublin and Charbourg on weekends – had pushed passenger and freight volumes higher.

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

Roll-on, roll-off freight volumes were significantly higher at 118,100, up 18.5%.

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