Tuesday, August 30, 2011

RoRo Ferry and Container Shipping Group Report Half Year Figures

Mixed Results from Irish Ferries
Shipping News Feature

IRELAND – WORLDWIDE - In common with most of the other shipping groups reporting over the past month or so the half year figures from RoRo and container feeder line company Irish Ferries vary according to the type of business undertaken. Although primarily thought of as a passenger carrying service the company has its fingers in several freight associated pies and these appear to have fared better than the core business.

In RoRo freight Irish Ferries’ volumes were up 12.0% to 97,000 units, when compared with the first half of 2010. This increase is in excess of the market due to reduced capacity on the Central Corridor of the Irish Sea. On the Island of Ireland as a whole RoRo volumes were flat year-on-year (source: Irish Maritime Development Office - IMDO) indicating that economic recovery is still some way off. The MV Kaitaki remained on charter to P&O during the period, trading in New Zealand.

The Container and Terminal Division includes the two Dutch based shipping lines Eucon and Feederlink as well as the division’s strategically located container terminals in Dublin (DFT) and Belfast (BCT). Turnover in the division was up 7.3% to €59.1 million (2010: €55.1 million), while profit from operations was €3.3 million (2010: €2.3 million).

Total containers shipped were down 2.5% at 205,300 TEU. There was an increase in carryings to and from Ireland offset by a reduction in carryings on the North Sea due to business foregone due to what the company refer to as ‘inadequate rates’. There was strong growth in the number of units lifted at the division’s port facilities in Dublin and Belfast which were up 14.5% at 94,200 lifts. The overall LoLo market on the island of Ireland was down 1% in the first six months of the year (source: IMDO).

Obviously the sea passenger market has a big influence on the figures and total passengers carried were down 3.6% at 670,500 while total cars carried in the first half of 2011 were 151,600, down 3.1% on the previous year, but at higher yields. Overall this sector was down 7.5% and the car market was down 6.2% (the comparative figures for 2010 include the period during which European air space was closed due to volcanic ash, which had a significant positive impact on passenger volumes in that period).

In July and August car volumes were down 7%, total passenger numbers were in line with 2010 and RoRo freight was up 3%. The RoRo freight market is somewhat weaker than the group expected, although in the Container and Terminal division container volumes have reportedly increased by 9% in the last two months while port lifts are up 12% continuing the strong trend from the first half. As with the rest of the sector mention is made that oil prices continue to remain at historically high levels.

Anyone interested in studying the complete set of figures can do so HERE.