Pandemic Drags Down Viking Line’s Q1 Results

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Some key elements of the Q1 report.

  • Passenger traffic is marginal at present, since only the transport of people between the Finnish mainland and Åland is allowed.
  • Quick measures to cut costs have been necessary. Basically the entire staff has been furloughed.
  • Backed by Finland’s National Emergency Supply Agency’s decision to aid cargo traffic to ensure the security of supply, four of the Group’s vessels are serving the Turku – Långnäs (Åland) – Stockholm, Mariehamn – Kapellskär and Helsinki – Tallinn routes. Viking Line’s three other vessels are not in service.
  • While current cargo traffic generates revenue for each vessel to cover variable costs and a small portion of fixed costs, it does not generate positive operating income for the vessels in service.
  • To strengthen liquidity and safeguard the future of the Company, Viking Line has begun negotiations for additional funding. The intention is to use State guarantees proposed in a supplementary budget submitted to the Finnish parliament.
  • Operating income totalled EUR – 21.5m (-14.2).
  • Passenger-related revenue was EUR 63.2m (83.0), while cargo revenue amounted to EUR 11.3m (12.3). Net sales revenue was EUR 54.9m (70.1).


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The Acquisition of ANEK Lines is Unlikely to Happen

The pandemic seems to affect the rescue plan for the acquisition of the ANEK LINES by the Attica Group. The consequences of the Covid-19 had an operational and financial impact on the ANEK Lines which viability is severely threatened.

The hope that the banks had a few weeks ago for the absorption of ANEK Lines by Attica Group is now disappearing. The Cretan Ferry Operator is burdened with high non-performing loans, despite capital increases through the conversion of loans into shares in recent years, which have led creditor banks to control about 40% of its share capital.

The last increase was in early February, when Piraeus Bank (24,18%), Alpha Bank, Cross Ocean (fund that purchased the claims of the National Bank) and Bank of Attica acquired 16,3% of its share capital and converted it into a bond loan of EUR 10,84 million. Even so, ANEK’s non-performing bank liabilities at the end of the first half of 2019 amounted to EUR 255 million. Fact that mostly concerns Piraeus Bank which is ANEK Line’s largest creditor.

All of ANEK’s obligations have been classified in the financial statements as short-term borrowing, which is estimated that exceeds EUR 240 million. The total liabilities reached -in the middle of 2019-  EUR 353 million. The 2019 balance sheet is expected to be published in the coming days, but after the latest developments related to the pandemic, its financial position is expected to deteriorate drastically during the current fiscal year. Banks initially examined a scenario of drastic restructuring through a change of administration, but such a move, in addition to its inherent difficulties, would also worsen the company’s liquidity problems.

The next option was to increase control of the share capital, in order to lead the company to acquisition by another shipping company. The obvious choice was Attica Group, with which ANEK operates jointly on the lines of Crete and the Adriatic Sea. However, the consequences of the pandemic severely affected the ferry market and ferry companies are expected to lose sales of EUR 300 million. Fact that will definitely not allow Attica Group to inject liquidity into a acquisition of that scale.

Source: KATHIMERINI NEWSPAPER (Financial Part)

AS Tallink Grupp’s Explanation and Correction of Facts after Financing Negotiations Land in the Media

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AS Tallink Grupp’s Explanation and Correction of Facts after Financing Negotiations Land in the Media

What happened?

  • LHV made a loan proposal to Tallink Grupp
  • LHV, disclosed via news agency BNS (Baltic News Service) that it has made a financing proposal to Tallink Grupp thus commencing a public debate on the topic of the financing proposal in the Estonian media.
  • Shortly before, Tallink declined the offer.
  • Because of the media attention and the spread of wrong facts, causing damage to the company’s reputation, Tallink Grupp decided exceptionally to make the terms of the proposal in question public and provide related comments.


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Port of Cork Welcomes New CLdN Service

As from April 24, CLdN will operate three sailings per week, up from two presently, on the Zeebrugge – Dublin service and in addition, will create a new roro service operating one round trip a week between Zeebrugge and Cork.

CEO of Port of Cork, Brendan Keating, said: “This announcement by CLdN will greatly support our efforts in the Port of Cork to keep supply chains moving during the current pandemic. The Port has been actively looking at ways to bolster its freight activity and is delighted to partner with a company that enjoys such a great reputation in the shipping industry.

Port of Oostende Still Available for New Solid Ferry Projects

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In its annual report 2019 (in Dutch), the Port of Oostende still has the cruise & ferry sector as one of the five key pillars for its future. The Belgian port has a long ferry tradition, linking Continental Europe with the UK since more than one and a half century. However, the last ferry service stopped 6 years ago.

One threat to its future is the concession given by France to energy producer EDF, for the development of a wind farm on the historic ferry route. Having a wind energy parc on this place would jeopardise any future ferry route between Oostende and Dover.

The port authority keeps the possibility open to take legal steps to keep this historic route open and is supported by the Belgian Government.

The route can be seen on this maritime chart.

Port of Antwerp Will Be the First to Test an Intelligent Bracelet to Avoid Covid-19

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If port workers come to close to each other, the digital bracelet will make a sound. This is how technology will help to keep 6 feet of social distancing.

The device has been created by Rombit and is now available as Romware Covid Radius.

A second advantage is the privacy-compliant contact tracing. Checking back to see who’s been in contact with newly identified patients with an infectious disease is an important technique for containing the coronavirus pandemic.


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Space Charter Agreement between Trasmediterranea and Balearia for Ceuta Route

The ferry PASSIÓ PER FORMENTERA is the only ship that transports cargo between Spain and Ceuta, since Tuesday, April 21.

A space charter agreement between Baleària and Trasmediterránea leaves only one single ship on the Ceuta route.

The article says that this arrangement does not comply with the terms of the public service contract.