In its latest trading update, Irish Continental Group reports that Irish Ferries’ new ship W.B. Yeats has now completed its sea-trials and will be ready for delivery during early December 2018. The Jonathan Swift, which was sold in April 2018, generated a profit after tax of €13.7 million.
The update said: “The W.B. Yeats, currently under construction by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft & Co. KG (FSG) completed its sea-trials in early November and is undergoing final delivery adjustments. FSG have advised ICG that the W.B. Yeats will be ready for delivery during early December. ICG would like to apologise once again for any disruption caused to our tourism and freight customers due to the delay in FSG delivering the ship, a delay that was an extraordinary event totally outside the control of ICG. FSG are contracted to deliver a second new vessel during 2020.
“In the Ferries Division, total revenues recorded in the period to 31 October amounted to €172.1 million (including intra-division charter income), a €12.3 million or a 6.7% decrease on the prior year. €4.9 million of the decrease is attributable to lower external vessel charter earnings following the disposal of the Kaitaki in May 2017 and the Jonathan Swift in April 2018.
“For the year to 24th November, Irish Ferries carried 365,400 cars, a decrease of 7.2% on the previous year, on the back of a 7.3% loss in sailings (including planned reduced fast craft sailings of 20% due principally to a decision not to operate the Swift in the winter). In the period since 30th June car carryings decreased by 11.2% compared with the same period last year.
“Carryings in the period July to date compared to the prior year were adversely affected by significant disruptions to the schedules on the Dublin Holyhead route due to technical difficulties affecting the flagship vessel Ulysses. While Irish Ferries adjusted its fleet allocations to reduce the effect of these disruptions there remained a significant reduction in capacity.”