Monday, May 19 12:46:33
Shipping and transport company Irish Continental Group today reported a wider pre-tax loss for the four months to March, despite a growth in revenues.
Loss before tax widened to 4.3 million euros from 3.1 million euros a year ago.
Operating costs, before depreciation and amortization, increased by 9pc to E73.8 million from E67.7 million last year, chiefly reflecting higher costs of operating the 'Epsilon.'
Core earnings or EBITDA stood at E2.9 million, compared to E4.8 million a year ago.
Revenue, on the other hand, rose to E76.7 million from E72.5 million in the same period last year.
The company pointed out that its business is significantly weighted towards the second half of the year.
In the Roll on Roll off freight market, Irish Ferries carried 87,900 units, an increase of 18pc compared with the same period in 2013, reflecting the additional capacity of the 'Epsilon' and a growing freight market.
Container freight volumes shipped increased 1pc to 107,800 teu (twenty foot equivalent units), while units handled at their terminals in Dublin and Belfast rose 6pc year on year, over the same period, to 69,700 lifts.
In the same period, Irish Ferries carried 95,000 cars, an increase of 5pc on the previous year.
While car passenger numbers were up, in line with the car volumes, total passenger volumes were in line with the previous year at 441,100 due to a fall in foot passenger carryings.
During the period the group started a weekly Dublin to Cherbourg service, operated by the recently chartered 'Epsilon', alongside eight other round trips on Dublin-Holyhead.
Total sailings operated across all routes were up as a result by 17pc.
In the first four months of the year, Group revenue rose 5.8pc to E76.7m, compared with E72.5m in the same period last year.
Operating costs (before depreciation and amortisation) were 9pc higher at E73.8m, versus E67.7m the previous year, mainly reflecting the incremental operational and port costs of operating 'Epsilon'.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were E2.9m compared with E4.8m in the same period in 2013.
The operating loss was E2.6m compared with an operating loss of E1.1m in 2013. There was a net finance charge of E1.7m, down E0.3m compared with the previous year. The loss before tax was E4.3m (2013: loss of E3.1m).