Strategy & Business Objectives

Irish Continental Group plc is a focused provider of maritime passenger and freight services with its principal operations in North West Europe. The Group operates through two divisions: the Ferries Division comprising Irish Ferries and ship chartering activities, and the Container & Terminal Division, which includes the intermodal shipping line, Eucon, and two container terminals, Dublin Ferryport Terminals (DFT) and Belfast Container Terminal (BCT), within the two main ports on the island of Ireland.

There are two principal elements to the Group’s strategy for delivering value to shareholders:

  • Investment in quality assets in order to achieve economies of scale consistent with a superior customer service; and
  • Benchmarking costs to industry best practice to enable the Group to compete vigorously in its chosen markets.

Divisional performance is measured using the following financial objectives:

  • EBITDA (earnings before non-trading items, interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation): a measure of the cash generated by the business from its operations;
  • EBIT (earnings before non-trading items, interest and tax); and
  • ROACE (return on average capital employed): EBIT expressed as a percentage of average capital employed (consolidated net assets, excluding net debt and pension assets/liabilities).

Group performance is measured against the same objectives and also against the following financial objectives:

  • EPS (earnings per share);
    • Basic EPS is profit attributable to ordinary shareholders divided by the weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue for the year.
    • Adjusted EPS is adjusted to exclude net interest cost on defined benefit pension schemes and non-trading items.
  • Free cash flow (operating cash flow less capital expenditure).

These financial objectives are supported by a primary operational objective which is schedule integrity (the number of sailings completed versus scheduled sailings).

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