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Lower fuel prices, the strength of sterling and higher carryings helped boost annual profits at Irish Ferries, owner Irish Continental Group.
Earnings [EBITDA] rose by almost 50% to €75.5 million in the year to December 31 over 2014 as revenue increased by 10.5% to €320.6 million.
The number of passengers carried went up by 2% to 1.67 million year-on-year while car traffic was up by 5% to 400,900 in an overall market to and from Ireland which rose by 1.2% to 789,000.
The group’s ferries division saw revenue increase by 10.6% to €203.9 million with EBITDA up by more than €20 million to €63.7 million, main driven by increased freight and passenger revenue and lower fuel prices.
Car numbers in the current year to date are up 4% on last year and passenger carryings are 1% ahead of the same period in 2015.
Chairman, John McGuckian, said: “During 2015 the group benefited from lower world fuel prices, stronger sterling and increased carryings.
“The group maintains a pivotal position in facilitating Ireland’s international trade and tourism and is operationally geared to the economic recovery in Ireland.
“We have seen the benefits of this recovery continue into the early weeks of 2016 which, notwithstanding a weakening in sterling and assuming current oil prices, gives us confidence that we can look forward in 2016, in the absence of unforeseen developments to further growth in revenue and earnings.”