Irish Continental Group has reported revenue 6% higher for the half year, following the introduction of the WB Yeats cruise ferry on schedule services with Irish Ferries in January.

Earnings per share, however, were down 16% to 12.8 cent. ICG reported its interim dividend increased by 5% to 4.42 cent.

The company is concerned about the impact of Brexit but says it can pursue other opportunities, and remains confident for continued revenue growth.

ICG sold the Oscar Wilde ferry in April for €28.9 million, following the sale, a year earlier, of the Jonathan Swift for €15.5 million.

Fuel costs increased by €3.1 million to €25.5 million in the six month period.

ICG chairman, John McGuckian said he was pleased to report improved revenue performance in the first six months of the financial year with growth achieved across both of our divisions resulting in group revenue of €166.8 million, an increase of 6.1% over the prior year.

"This growth was supported by our fleet investment programme, most notable the commencement of scheduled sailings of the €155 million W B Yeats in January," he said.

Mr McGuckian said growth in all aspects of its business has continued over the period since June 30. "While we remain positive for continued revenue growth more uncertainty than usual exists in relation to geopolitical tensions and the mechanism for the proposed exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

"Both these uncertainties have the potential to affect growth in the economies in which we operate. Notwithstanding, the group remains in a strong position to pursue further opportunities," he said.