Irish Ferries’ newest ship, W.B. Yeats, will finally be handed over to its owner in early December after its delivery was delayed several times.
Currently under construction at Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft & Co. KG (FSG) in Germany, the newbuilding completed its sea trials in early November and is undergoing final delivery adjustments.
“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,” Irish Continental Group said.
The newbuilding was scheduled to commence sailings between Ireland and France from July 30. The ferry company was previously forced to cancel July sailings for the W.B. Yeats when they were informed in April by FSG, of the initial delay.
The shipbuilding contract was signed in May 2016, with the first steel cutting in April 2017, and keel laying in September 2017. The hull of W. B. Yeats was launched into the water in January 2018.
In addition, FSG is contracted to deliver a second new vessel during 2020. The cruise ferry will be able to accommodate 1,800 passengers and crew, with capacity for 5,610 freight lane meters.
The information on W.B. Yeats’ delivery was announced in Irish Continental Group’s financial update for the first ten months of 2018. Consolidated group revenue in the period was EUR 285.3 million, a decrease of EUR 3.6 million or 1.3% compared with last year.
The revenue decrease is attributable to sailing disruptions and schedule changes in the ferries division offset by revenue growth in the container and terminal division. External charter revenues were also EUR 4.9 million lower following the sale of the Kaitaki in May 2017 and Jonathan Swift in April of this year.
For the year to date, group fuel costs continued to be impacted by higher average fuel prices compared to the prior year.
Net cash at the end of October was EUR 33.9 million which includes cash generated from trading to date net of the 20% deposit payment on the second new vessel and proceeds from the sale of the Jonathan Swift.
“There is heightened uncertainty at the moment over the manner of the proposed exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union. This is bound to be affecting the timing of corporate investment decisions and continued uncertainty may have a negative impact on consumer sentiment,” according to the group.