Irish Continental Group’s first half earnings shrunk nearly 20 percent to $23.2 million from a year ago, as higher fuel bills offset a 12 percent increase in roll on/roll off freight volume.
Ireland’s biggest shipping line earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell from $28.8 million in the first half of 2010, while revenue grew 3.3 percent to $182.3 million.
“These are resilient results in the context of a challenging economic environment and high oil prices,” said group chairman John McGuckian.
The company said the economic recovery in Ireland, which was bailed out by European Union loans, remains “some way off.” Ro-ro freight volume rose to 97,000 units from 87,000 units to outperform the market as competitors reduced capacity on the Irish Sea.
Container traffic on short sea services between Ireland, the U.K. and continental Europe slipped 2.5 percent to 205,300 20-foot equivalent units. The container terminals in Dublin and Belfast boosted volume 14.5 percent to 94,200 lifts.
The ro/ro freight market was weaker than expected in July and August, but the container lines boosted traffic by 9 percent in the two months and the Dublin and Belfast terminals grew lifts by 12 percent.
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