The operating figures for the start of the year-to-date show a 1.5% decrease in passenger numbers to 418,100. The volume of cars fell by 5.5% to 85,000 whereas roll on/roll off freight increased by 6.4% to 71,000. The company blamed the decrease in car and passenger numbers on Easter falling earlier than usual this year. Container freight was up 10% to 102,100 and terminal lifts fell 3.4% to 62,700.
“It should be noted that ICG’s business is significantly weighted towards the second half of the year when normally a higher proportion of the group’s operating profit is generated than in the first six months,” the company said in a statement.
A breakdown of costs revealed that non-fuel costs were up 4.0%, which is €2m, due to volume related port costs and additional variable costs in the container division, while fuel costs were down 8% or €1.3m.
Earnings before interest tax and depreciation (EBITDA) were €4.8m compared with €3.8m in the same period in 2012.
The depreciation charge was down €0.3m at €5.9m. The operating loss was €1.1m compared with €2.4m in 2012.
There was net interest payable of €2m compared with €800,000 the previous year. The loss before tax was €3.1m (2012: loss of €3.2m). Net debt at the end of April was €113.2m compared with €116m at Dec 31, 2012, the company said in a statement to the Irish Stock Exchange.
In a research note, Davy stockbroker analyst Ross Harvey said: “The company had a fuel tailwind in the first quarter and, if annualised in line with fuel prices normalising, up to €4m could be added to EBITDA for the full year.
“The business is weighted more towards the second half of the year, however, and our forecasts are unlikely to change. We reiterate our ‘outperform’ rating based on a cash flow yield of c10%, a dividend yield of c5% and the company’s exposure to Irish tourism and freightt.”