Irish Ferries forced to raise fares in wake of increasing costs

ICG reports 80% rise in revenue to €161m for first four months of 2022

Irish Continental Group, the owner of Irish Ferries, said it has been forced to pass on increased costs to consumers in the form of higher prices.

In a trading update, the ferry operator reported an 80 per cent increase in revenue to €161 million for the first four months of 2022 while noting car and freight traffic had increased significantly.

The increase was principally due to the easing of travel restrictions as compared to the same period last year, increased fuel surcharges and the new Dover-Calais service which commenced in June 2021, it said.

Total revenues across the group’s ferries division amounted to €98 million, up 165 per cent on the prior year.


Irish Ferries carried 123,600 cars, an increase of 682 per cent on the previous year while freight carryings were 223,900 units, an increase of 170.7 per cent compared with the same period in 2021.

The group said its cost base has been affected by higher global prices, particularly fuel prices and charter rates.

“In order to maintain adequate returns to drive future development it has been necessary to pass these increased costs through to customers,” it said.

The operator also noted that it had introduced another vessel – the Isle of Inisheer – on the Dover-Calais route.

ICG said it had also acquired a container vessel, the CT Pachuca, bringing to eight the total number of container vessels owned by the group.

It said net debt increased by €30 million to stand at just over €174 million.The increase in debt was accounted for by strategic capital expenditure mainly arising from the acquisition of two vessels.

UK government plans to prevent ferry companies operating out of UK ports paying below the country’s minimum wage could have implications for Irish Ferries.

UK transport secretary Grant Shapps said in March he was considering legislation in the wake of the P&O Ferries controversy.

P&O sacked 800 crew members earlier this year and replaced them with agency staff in a bid to cut costs.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times