Irish Continental Group has reported higher profits and revenues for the six months to the end of June, seasonally its less profitable half year period.

The Irish Ferries owner said its pre-tax profit for the six month period rose to €47.5m from €19.7m in the first half of 2016.

Revenues for the six month period increased by 3.7% to €156.1m from €150.5m on the back of increased car volumes and the consolidation of the strong RoRo growth over the last two years. 

ICG said that during the six month period it completed the sale of the MV Kaitaki ferry for a profit after tax of €25.5m.

The company also declared an interim dividend of 4.01 cent, up 5% on the same time last year.

"Summer trading remains encouraging across all business areas, we have experienced volume growth in car and freight volumes whilst the further weakening of sterling is offset by easing euro fuel prices," commented the company's chairman John B McGuckian. 

During the six months to the end of June, ICG's Ferries Division carried a total of 174,500 cars, up 2% on the same time last year. Passenger numbers increased by 1.7% to 700,400.

But Ro-Ro freight volumes slipped by 0.4% to 138,600.

Its Container and Terminals Division saw an increase of 6.8% in the total number of containers shipped to 163,100. 

Containers handled at the group's terminals in Dublin and Belfast were up 1.7% to 147,200 lifts.