The COVID-19 global pandemic has had a significant impact on the company’s operations and financial results.
-40% passengers (13.1 million)
-24% vehicles (6.7 million)
BC Ferries expects financial results to continue to improve, in part due to Safe Restart funding and as the provincial economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic. The company remains optimistic that traffic will begin to return as more travellers become vaccinated and as the Provincial Health Officer eases travel restrictions.
Impacts of Safe Restart funding:
Net earnings were $21.0 million, a decrease of $7.8 million compared to net earnings of $28.8 million in the prior year. This reflects BC Ferries’ recognition of $186.0 million from the $308 million in Safe Restart funding received this fiscal year. Without the $186.0 million in Safe Restart funding – recognized as revenue – the net loss for the year would have been $165.0 million.
Inclusive of the Safe Restart funding, revenues decreased by $76.1 million, or 8.1%. Without the revenue contributed by Safe Restart funding, fiscal 2021 total revenues would have decreased by $262.1 million to $679.3 million, or 27.8 % lower than in fiscal 2020.
In response to the impact of COVID-19 on ferry operations, BC Ferries reviewed all spending and reduced its operating expenses in fiscal 2021 by $76.3 million or 8.9%.
The reduction was mainly due to reduced round trips on the major routes and the deferral of certain discretionary costs. The expense reduction includes reduced labour costs, fuel consumption, contracted services, depreciation expense and other miscellaneous costs.