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DFDS: Increasing Freight Earnings 

  • Q3 freight earnings are above 2019 levels
  • Efficiency enhanced by adaptation of operations and business structure to market changes
  • Travel restrictions lowered passenger numbers significantly (-70%)
  • EBITDA 2020 outlook raised to DKK 2.5-2.7bn on 23 October

Q3, key figures (in DKK billion)

  • -19.6% Revenue (3,598)
  • -29.2% EBITDA before special items (846)
  • -46.0% EBIT before special items (388)
  • -49.9% Profit before tax and special items (324)
  • -59.4% Profit before tax (262)

EBITDA for freight ferry and logistics activities was DKK 126m above 2019 in Q3. The ongoing adaptation of operations and the business structure to market conditions post Covid-19 has been instrumental in achieving the increase. Besides higher margins, some activities also succeeded in raising volumes.

The continued tightening of travel restrictions during Q3 lowered, on the other hand, the passenger result below expectations. In Q3, EBITDA for passenger services was thus DKK 445m below 2019. This result includes passenger services in three business units that provide such services – Passenger, Channel and Baltic Sea.

Outlook 2020

On 23 October 2020, the outlook for 2020 was raised as freight volumes have developed more positively than expected during and after Q3.

EBITDA before special items is expected to be DKK 2.5-2.7bn in 2020 up from the previous outlook of DKK 2.2-2.5bn included in the Q2 2020 report.

DFDS October Volume Report: Freight Above Last Year

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Ferry – freight:

  • Total volumes in October were 2% above 2019 adjusted for the closure of the Paldiski-Hanko route
  • North Sea volumes were above 2019 driven by stockbuilding ahead of Brexit.
  • Automotive volumes continued to recover.
  • Baltic Sea volumes were also above 2019, mainly due to additional capacity between Estonia and Sweden.
  • Mediterranean volumes were increased by growth in export volumes from Turkey.
  • Volumes on the English Channel were slightly below 2019.

Freight lane meters (,000)

  • October 2020: +0.4% (4,130)
  • Last 12 months: -3.9% (39,487)

Ferry – passenger:

  • Total number of passengers in October 2020 was 84% below 2019.
  • The decrease reflects a continued negative impact from travel restrictions related to Covid-19.
  • In the Baltic Sea, passenger numbers were considerably less impacted.

Passengers (,000)

  • October 2020: -83.8% (64)
  • Last 12 months: -55.1% (2,302)

Covid-19 Hits Tallink Grupp’s Employees and Q3 Results

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“Having started the year with over 7,200 dedicated employees in the group this year, we are faced with the reality of this number of good employees, dedicated and passionate tourism sector people in our company falling below the 5,000 mark by the end of this year.”

Tallink Grupp’s CEO Paavo Nõgene

Q3 is normally the high season for Tallink Grupp. This year it has been heavily affected by the pandemic and its travel restrictions.

  • -7% Trips
  • -55.8% Passengers
  • -1.9% Cargo units
  • -50.0% Consolidated revenue

EBITDA was EUR 5.7 million (EUR 83.2 million in Q3 2019)

Net loss was EUR 23.9 million (EUR 54.6 million in Q3 2019).

Q3 financial result was impacted by the following factors:

  • Significant decrease in operating expenses
  • Negative impact from one-off costs related to redundancies process in the amount of EUR 3.1 million
  • Positive impact from support measures, including the temporary salary compensation measure in Sweden and exemption from ships’ fairway dues in Estonia.

Outlook: “Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation the earnings outlook has become uncertain and continues to be largely subject to external factors such as the states’ decisions regarding the timing of lifting of the travel restrictions, allowing passenger traffic as well as the duration of the recovery period.”

New Ferry Lines from Morocco to Europe

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La Méridionales opens the previously announced Marseille-Tangier-Marseille route on 14 November with 3 sailings each way per week, using the GIROLATA and PELAGOS.

Suardiaz Group is going to launch a roro line between Tangier Med and Barcelona on 7 November.

It will run twice weekly and be able to transport all types of cargo, but especially textile, fruit and vegetables, distribution, retail and spare parts for the automotive industry.

CMA CGM started a service between Tangier and Marseille in 2017, but this was short-lived.

Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea in Refinancing Operation

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Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea said in a Spanish press release it is NOT filing or about to file for bankruptcy.

This message came after some damaging articles were published in Spanish media.

The company said that it is renegotiating debts.

“Faced with the impact of the low demand because of the COVID-19 crisis, and with the aim of preserving its liquidity and optimizing its capital structure, Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea has started talks with the representatives of the main bondholders, to refinance or restructure the bonds maturing in 2023 and 2024 that we expect to bear fruit in the coming weeks.”

“Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea guarantees all its commitments with its commercial suppliers. Likewise, Naviera Trasmediterránea guarantees the provision of all the services that it has been providing.”

Soon More Freight Capacity on Piraeus – Heraklion

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After 20 years of service KNOSSOS PALACE withdrew from the Heraklion line. She will serve on the Civitavecchia – Olbia line under a new name and sporting the Grimaldi Lines livery.

CRUISE BONARIA (ex- EUROPA PALACE), on the other hand will be renamed KNOSSOS PALACE and introduced on the Piraeus-Heraklion line. She has more freight capacity, but a little less cabins.

Hellenic Coastal Lines: Measures for the November Lockdown

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According to a new Ministerial Decision, the measures taken concerning the operation of the Coastal Shipping in Greece from November 1 to November 30, 2020 are as follows:

  • Only the permanent residents of the islands will be allowed to travel by passenger or passenger ferries
  • Passengers without face masks will not be allowed to embark on board ferries
  • The allowed ferry capacity is set at 50%, or 55% if they have cabins
  • The operation of all types of ships and boats, including private excursion boats and commercial tourist ships, boats and sea taxis from mainland Greece to the islands and vice versa, as well as between of the islands is forbidden
  • The arrival of cruise ships is prohibited, regardless of the flag for the ship. Cruise ships, that are already in Greek waters can continue without disembarking the passengers in the ports of approach, except the planned final port of the cruise, if it is Greek.

Mink Virus Forces Denmark to Shut Down Passenger Traffic to and from North Jutland

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On 9 November, the Danish authorities introduced restrictions in the Northern part of Jutland, to reduce the spreading and development of a mink virus variant.

It has been decided that all mink herds in Denmark must be slaughtered.

Stena Line has decided to temporarily stop the passenger operation between Frederikshavn and Gothenburg between 9 November and 3 December.

The freight operation on the route will continue to keep the vital supply lines open between Denmark and Sweden.

Passengers are during this period referred to the route between Halmstad and Grenaa, which are not affected by the new restrictions and will continue to operate with both passengers and freight.

Color Line operates its SUPERSPEED 1 and 2 in a freight-only mode.

Fjord Line does not take passengers on its already reduced number of crossings.

Moby SPL Looks into Launching a Regular Saint-Petersburg – Kaliningrad Line

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Moby St. Peter’s Line may launch a regular Saint-Petersburg – Kaliningrad line in 2021 if coronavirus related restrictions on travelling abroad are extended, Sergey Kotenev, CEO of the company, said at the webinar “All Ferries of Russia. The Baltic Sea” organized by PortNews.

If it happens, it will be a regular cruise for six days with a technical call in Stockholm for taking aboard new Scania and Volvo trucks to be distributed in Russia.

If coronavirus constraints are lifted in 2021 instead, the company will operate its regular lines under a standard schedule on Saint-Petersburg – Tallinn – Stockholm – Saint-Petersburg route and short tours to Helsinki.

Sergey Kotenev also said the departure is planned from the berths of the Marine Façade in Saint-Petersburg.

The company also sees a vast potential of transportation to Germany via Kaliningrad as a transit port.


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Grimaldi’s Ro-Pax Terminal Won Against Porto Livorno 2000 in the Port of Livorno

The regional administrative court in Tuscany stated this week that Grimaldi-participated terminal Sintermar Darsena Toscana can also handle passengers in the port of Livorno, thus rejecting the appeal from Porto Livorno 2000 (the passenger terminal controlled by Moby and with the participation from MSC).

Porto Livorno 2000 considered itself the only terminal operator of the port with the authorization to handle passengers from cruise vessels and ferries. Therefore it opposed the concession released in the recent past by the local port authority for a second ro-pax terminal to Sintermar Darsena Toscana.

The administrative regional court stated that Porto Livorno 2000 cannot be the only passenger terminal of the port recalling also the national and EU competition rules.

Grimaldi offers regular ro-pax services from Livorno to Sardinia and to Barcelona in Spain.