Irish Continental Group said that group revenue in its seasonally most significant quarter rose by 10.4% to €105.5m.

In an interim management statement, the ferry group said that EBITDA in the three months to the end of September rose to €38.6m from €28.4m the same time last year, while operating profits increased to €43.2m from €24m.

ICG said that summer trading had been strong with volume and revenue growth recorded across its two divisions - ferries and container & terminal.

It also noted that group fuel costs in the third quarter fell to €10.3m from €14.8m due to lower oil prices, which were partially offset by a stronger dollar and new regulations which resulted in the purchase of more expensive fuel grades.

ICG said that total passenger numbers increased by 3% in the period from July 1 to November 7, while the number of cars it carried rose by 5%.

It said that in the Ro-Ro freight market, Irish Ferries volumes were up 8% while container freight volumes increased by 7%.

Units lifted at its container ports in Dublin and Belfast jumped by 51%, with underlying lifts up 5% when adjusted for Belfast concession volumes this year.

So far this year, ICG has carried a total of 1,530,100 passengers, up 3% o the same time last year. Cars carried rose by 6% to 362,900. 

RoRo volumes so far in 2015 are up 10% on last year at 231,500, while container freight volumes are up 3%, ICG said.

ICG said that progress on developing volumes through Belfast are continuing. The group, as previously announced, has also agreed deals to buy four container vessels at a total cost of 24.2m, with delivery expected by December.

These vessels will be offered to the market on a charter basis, ICG said.