Ferry company, Irish Continental Group, has reported a fall in earnings per share for the first six months of about a third, to €0.15.

Revenue was marginally higher at just over €157 million.

The company has been hit by delays in the delivery of its WB Yeats ferry affecting thousands of bookings, and the sale of two vessels affected its external charter activities which hit earnings.

Chairman John B McGuckian said, "While our first half EBITDA is down €3.5 million on the same period in the prior year, it should be noted that this is principally due to the reduced chartering income in the Group following the sale of the Kaitaki and Jonathan Swift which were sold for a combined total of €60.5 million in cash."

Mr McGuckian apologised for any disruption schedule changes caused to tourism and freight customers. "We look forward to the delivery of the W.B. Yeats in late 2018," he said, "which will bring cost savings and significant additional earnings potential for the group."