Tourists keep Sea Containers buoyant

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The Independent Online
FERRY TRAVEL at Sea Containers, the passenger hovercraft and containers business, is increasing despite the recession.

A spokeswoman said that the number of people travelling across the Channel and between Britain and Ireland on board its Hoverspeed hovercrafts and Seacats had increased in the three months to 30 June.

'It seems that people are going on independent holidays more and there is a growing trend in taking your car across to the Continent. We have not experienced the recession that some holiday companies have,' she said.

Sea Containers also announced that it had settled all outstanding litigation with the Swedish Stena group arising from the sale of Sealink to Stena in 1990. Provisions made at the time of the sale cover the settlement. Sealink has entered into a long-term contract to lease the Sea Containers ferry berth in Newhaven, East Sussex, as part of the settlement.

Pre-tax profits fell to dollars 13.5m ( pounds 7.1m) compared with dollars 16m in the corresponding period last year. The fall is due to a windfall settlement of litigation with British Rail of dollars 6.2m in 1991.

Fully diluted earnings per share are 80 cents compared with dollars 1.31. The company has increased its dividend by 10 per cent to 19 1/4 cents per quarter on the Class A common shares, with the first payment to be made on 21 August.

The shares rose 3p to 111p.

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