Ferry and logistics concern, Irish Continental Group (ICG) has reported a 74.9% revenue increase last year.
Revenue increased by €250.4 mill to €584.9 mill, compared to the previous year.
EBITDA also increased by €74.9 mill to €127.2 mill primarily due to increased revenues and a continued focus on costs.
The Ferries Division’s Dover/Calais service was further expanded by the introduction the ‘Isle of Inisheer’ on 26th April, 2022, which was the culmination of a planned investment for the route.
This has made Irish Ferries a genuine alternative for all customers on the Channel route, now offering up to 30 sailings per day on the Dover/Calais route, the Group said.
The fleet was also increased with the acquisition of a containership, ‘CT Pachuca’, bringing the total owned fleet to six ferries and eight containerships.
ICG also commenced operations at a container depot at the new Dublin Inland Port in January, 2022, following an earlier public tender.
The Group had strong cash generation during the year with cash generated from operations of €132 mill (2021= €67 mill). Cash outflows included strategic capital expenditure of €57.4 mill (2021= €41.7 mill), share buybacks of €49.2 mill (2021= €19.8 mill) and dividends paid of €24.2 mill (2021= zero).
Net debt at year end was €171.1 mill (€128.7 mill pre-IFRS 16), which was 1.2 times EBITDA under banking covenant definitions.
ICG said that it was in a strong financial position with available liquidity comprising cash and committed bank facilities of €67.4 mill as at 31st December, 2022.
Chairman, John McGuckian, commented; “2022 has been a year not just of recovery but of building for long-term growth. With the Covid-19 pandemic now behind us, we have turned our full attention to maximising the opportunities that have arisen for the Group over the last two years. We come out of the pandemic with operations larger than we had at its commencement, and with a balance sheet that remains strong.
“2022 saw the completion of our planned fleet investment for the Dover/Calais route. The entry to this route has been a long-term objective for the Group and the expansion to a three ship operation during 2022 allows us to compete effectively on this route.
“While there is some uncertainty around economic growth rates, we look forward to continued growth during 2023 through the leveraging of our recent investments and the continued support of all customers,” he said.