Thursday, May 14, 2015

RoRo Ferry and Container Shipping Group Wins New Terminal Contract

Belfast Box Facilities to Consolidate in One Place
Shipping News Feature

IRELAND – UK – Figures out this week for the Irish Continental Group (ICG) reveal, not only, financial details for the first four months of the year, i.e. 1 January to 30 April, but also give statistics for freight and passenger levels up to May 9. What is also confirmed is the group has been awarded the Services Concession for the operation of a combined container terminal at Victoria Terminal 3 (VT3) in Belfast Harbour for a period of 5 years with a further 3 year option.

ICG comprises several distinctly different logistical elements. From the Netherlands it runs Eucon Shipping, running container services between Ireland and continental Europe, it controls both Dublin Ferryport Terminals (DFT) and Belfast Container Terminal (BCT) as well as its RoRo freight and passenger ferry operations.

In the period from 1 January to 9 May 2015, on its RoRo freight service, Irish Ferries carried 91,800 units, an increase of 11% compared with the same period in 2014, it also carried 94,800 cars, an increase of 8% on the previous year. Total passenger volumes increased by 3% compared to the previous year to 418,600. Container freight volumes shipped were down 1% on the previous year at 100,000 TEU, while units handled by DFT and BCT increased 3% year on year, over the same period to 67,400 lifts.

The new Belfast terminal concession will involve the consolidation of the two existing container terminals in Belfast into one location at VT3. One of these is the BCT facility which the group already controls. The process of consolidating the volume of both terminals, which will involve some one off costs, will commence shortly.

As to the finances, in the first four months of the year, Group revenue rose 7.3% to €85.1 million, compared with €79.3 million in the same period last year. Operating costs (before depreciation & amortisation) were 1.6% lower at €74.8 million, versus €76.0 million the previous year, mainly reflecting the lower cost of fuel. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was €10.3 million compared with €3.3 million in the same period in 2014. The operating profit (before interest) was €4.4 million compared with an operating loss of €2.3 million in 2014. Net debt at the end of April was €45.5 million compared with €61.3 million at 31 December 2014.