Trading Update From Irish Continental Group

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Volumes (Year to date, 8 May 2021)

-62.5% cars

-18.9% roro

+11.4% TEU containers

+11.3% terminal lifts

Financial information for the first four months of 2021

Consolidated Group revenue in the period was €89.3 million, an increase of 0.4% compared with last year and a 12.7% decrease on 2019.


Ferries Division

  • Total revenues recorded in the period to 30 April amounted to €37.1 million (including intra-division charter income), -9.4% (-28.3% on 2019). The decrease was principally due to the continued restrictions on non-essential passenger travel. This was partially offset by an increase in freight revenues.
  • Total freight revenues +5.2% over the same period in the prior year and decreased by 1.0% versus the same period in 2019.

Recent Developments

  • ICG welcomes the recent comments made by the Irish Government about the reintroduction of unrestricted travel in the Common Travel Area between Britain and Ireland. Urgent clarity is needed regarding dates so that ICG can ensure it is ready from an operational perspective.
  • On 26 March, ICG subsidiary Irish Ferries announced that it would commence a new ferry service on the Dover – Calais route. Plans are significantly advanced with a view to commencing this service during summer 2021.

(*) note from editor: the Irish Ferries ropax service will be started with ISLE OF INISHMORE. We understand a second vessel has been secured and will be added later.

DFDS Q1: 2021 Off To A Good Start

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  • Fast recovery from Brexit transition
  • Mediterranean continued its progress
  • Passenger services remained restricted
  • EBITDA increased 23% to DKK 750m

Outlook 2021

  • The EBITDA outlook for 2021 was raised following stronger than expected freight results for most business units.
  • Uncertainty remains high and significant changes to outlook assumptions may still occur in the rest of the


  • During Q1 trade between the EU and UK stabilised faster than expected. Earnings in 2021 for UK-linked activities are therefore no longer expected to be below 2020.
  • The Mediterranean business unit improved earnings more than expected in Q1 and the positive earnings trend is expected to continue.
  • In the Baltic region, freight ferry capacity in the market is still expected to increase compared to 2020.
  • Irish Ferries has announced a plan to deploy ropax(es) between Dover and Calais in June 2021.


  • The EBITDA for passenger services was reduced by around DKK 1bn in 2020 due to travel restrictions imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19. It is assumed that around 25%, compared to previously around 40%, of the decrease in 2020 is regained in 2021 as travel restrictions are now expected to be eased later in The high season for ferry travel is Q3 and the outlook is thus especially sensitive to the scope of restrictions in this quarter.

Revenue outlook

The Group’s revenue is still expected to increase by 20-25% compared to 2020. The main growth drivers are the addition of HSF Logistics Group, the opening of the new route between Ireland and France and an increase in passenger volumes.

Finnlines: Steady Q1 2021, Regardless Of The Covid-19’s Impact On Revenue

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  • -5% Revenue EUR 124.1 (130.5) million, due to the pandemic.
  • Passenger revenue was affected by travel restrictions on Finland’s border.
  • In addition, low bunker surcharges have also been affecting the turnover.
  • Efficient operations resulted in a positive EBITDA of EUR 30.3 (38.2) million.
  • 187,000 cargo units, 44,000 cars and 101,000 passengers.
  • Finnlines is clearly an important service provider to Finland’s economy and that carriers, a lifeline for both the private and the public sector in the country.
  • The EUR 500 million Newbuilding programme is well under way and currently all three new ultra-green ro ro vessels are in construction. The first of them, FINNECO I, is scheduled to start in traffic at the end of the year or at the very beginning of 2022.
  • The Company has also strengthened its position in the Vuosaari Harbour in Helsinki by buying a major real estate in the port, which serves as its Head office.

Corsica Ferries Adds A Baltic Cruise Ferry To Its Fleet

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Corsica Ferries has been successfully shopping in Finland. Pierre Mattei, CEO, announced on his LinkedIn account that the company acquired MEGA REGINA, a classic Baltic ferry from Viking Line.

Viking Line confirmed MARIELLA (1985) was sold for EUR 19.6 million.

The vessel’s book value as of 31 March 2021 was EUR 5.7 million.

The sale is carried out as a bareboat hire / purchase arrangement.

Corsica Ferries has seen an increase in demand for overnight travel. With its 2500 pax / 840 cabins this vessel is a quintessential opportunity.

The vessel will arrive in Savona end of May and will start to sail end of June.

Pierre Mattei insists on the fact that the vessel is equipped with a shore power connection facility and an exhaust gas cleaning system. He says this vessel will have the lowest fuel consumption per passenger, in the large Corsica Ferries fleet. (context: since many years ferries have been blamed for air pollution, both in Corsica and on the French continent).

FS Italiane’s Fleet Renewal Plan Revealed For The Strait Of Messina

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A document published by the Italian transport ministry and focused on cost and opportunities to build up a new bridge on the Strait of Messina, revealed some interesting news about the fleet renewal program soon to be launched by Ferrovie dello Stato group which owns some roro and ropax ships trough RFI and BluJet companies.

  • Refitting and hybridization of the 2013-built ferry MESSINA
  • Delivery of the new ship IGINIA scheduled for next September and currently under construction at San Giorgio Shipyard in Genoa (she will replace the ferry VILLA)
  • Purchase of a new ship before 2025
  • Cold ironing system ashore in the ports on the two sides of the Strait of Messina
  • Project to buy three high-speed vessels dual-fuel LNG or Electric for passenger transport service

Brittany Ferries Forced To Delay Return To Full Service

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Brittany Ferries will not resume its full sailing schedule on 17th May as it had originally planned. The decision comes following changes to international travel rules, and in particular clarification of the UK government’s traffic light framework.

Normal sailings are now scheduled to resume on 6th June. The company says it is hopeful that France and Spain will be re-allocated to the green list shortly, thanks to falling Covid cases and rapidly rising vaccination rates.

Travel rules in UK, France, Spain and Ireland have significantly weakened demand. In the current financial climate it is not possible to run loss-making services without passengers, says BF’s CEO Christophe Mathieu, who remains positive and believes that ferry travel is now more attractive than ever.

FRS To Offer Inter-Balearic-Island Services

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Competition on the Balearic Islands increases. Two days after the announcement of GNV to enter this market, the German company FRS said it will start operating the Alcúdia – Cituadella route at the end of May.

At the beginning of June, the Ibiza-Formentera line will be added.

The FRS routes will be operated by fast ferries:

TARIFA JET on Alcudia – Ciutadela / 1h15min / 777 pax / 175 cars

SAN GWANN on Ibiza – Formentera / 427 pax / 15 cars

Rederi AB Gotland’s New Route To Germany Can Start In Autumn

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Recently Rederi AB Gotland said that they are planning for a new ferry line Nynäshamn – Rostock. (“Hansa Line”)

In an interview with Swedish Radio P4, Rederi AB Gotland’s CEO Håkan Johansson said

they are doing intensive preparatory work. “We have aimed to launch the ferry line this autumn.”

The company has been awarded an eco-bonus from the government, with the aim of transferring truck traffic from land to sea, estimated to reduce emissions by about 20%

Consultants of Steerlink Partners have mapped concrete freight flows and had dialogues with large goods owners and transport buyers.

Press Release Steerlink Partners

Rederi AB Gotland has started to collaborate with Wallenius Marine to further establish itself in international shipping. Wallenius will take over the operation of ropax VISBY, on charter to DFDS for the Dunkerque – Rosslare route. In the near future the Swedish vessel will be reflagged to Malta.

OSK-Shiptech Consolidates Its Position In Eastern Africa

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OSK-ShipTech has signed a contract with Tanzania government-owned Marine Services Company Limited (MSCL) for Owner’s Assistance and local assembly supervision of their new passenger ferry on site in Mwanza.

MSCL, who operates both ferries, cargo ships, and tankers on three of Africa’s Great Lakes, has turned to Danish OSK-ShipTech for building supervision of their new ferry, which has been prefabricated in Korea and shipped to Tanzania for final assembly.

Within foreseeable future, another two African ferry projects could become a reality.

The new ferry for Lake Victoria is planned for completion around early summer 2022.