Ferry company Irish Continental Group has reported an increase in revenue and a return to profit for the first four months of the year on the back of passenger and freight gains.
In an interim management statement the company – which operates the Irish Ferries brand – said its revenues for January to April were 7.3% higher year-on-year at €85.1m.
It also reduced operating costs by 1.6% to €74.8m during the period, which allowed it to record a €4.4m operating profit compared to a €2.3m loss in the same period of last year.
The group had also reduced its net debt to €45.5m by the end of April, compared to €61.2m by the end of last year.
The revenue growth came as volumes rose across most of the groups divisions.
It reported an 8% annual increase in the number of cars carried in the year to 9 May at 94,800.
Total passenger numbers were up 3% year-on-year at 418,600, it said.
Its roll-on, roll-off freight market – where commercial vehicles are driven onto ships – was up 11% after Irish Ferries carried 91,800 units.
However its container freight volumes – where containers are lifted on to ships – was down 1% to 100,000 twenty foot-equivalent units.
In its statement, ICG also noted that its business is significantly weighed towards the second half of the year, when a higher proportion of its operating profit is generated.