RTE News; Monday, 10 March 2008
Ferries group Irish Continental, which was the subject of a takeover battle last year, has reported pre-tax profits of €40.7m for last year, up from €33.3m. But the company said most of the growth came in the first half as higher oil prices and slower economic growth began to bite in the second half of the year.
It also warned that high oil prices and a tougher economic environment would mean a 'more challenging' 2008, and car volumes at Irish Ferries in the early months were already down 11% on the same period last year, while freight volumes are down 1%.
Last year, total turnover was up 14% to €355.8m and earnings per share rose by more than 70% to 178.6 cent. The company said increased revenue in all areas was partly offset by 10% higher fuel costs and increased port charges.
An exceptional charge linked to the failed takeover bid by a management team was reduced from €16.5m to €10m after it was rejected by shareholders.
In the ferries division, profits were €40.9m, up from €28.6m in 2006, as turnover rose 16.4% to €197.9m. Passenger numbers were up 12% to 1.57 million while car numbers rose by 14%. ICG said the Republic of Ireland cars market grew for the first time in four years.
Referring to what it called 'inaccurate rumour and speculation', the company said seafaring pay rates paid by its contractor on Irish Ferries ranged from €8.77 to €35 an hour
Turnover in the container and terminal division rose 11% to €157.9m, while profits jumped from €3.6m to €9.2m. Container volumes were up 17%.
Nothing really surprising there. Interesting that IF have quashed the wage rumors (Irish minimum wage is €8.65, so they are actually paying more, and it can legally be less if lodgings and/or food are provided).
The RNS statement is here
, and doesnt mention anything that we really don't already know.