Irish Continental Group trading update (11 May)

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ICG financial information for the first four months of 2022

  • Consolidated Group revenue €161.2 million, an increase of 80.5% compared with last year and a 57.6% increase on 2019.
  • Increase in net debt: primarily derived from strategic capital expenditure mainly comprising the acquisition of two vessels (ISLE OF INNISFREE, ISLE OF INISHEER). Including IFRS 16 lease obligations, net debt figures were €174.2 million compared to €142.2 million at year end.

Ferries Division

  • Total revenues recorded in the first four months amounted to €98.3 million (2021: €37.1 million) (including intra-division charter income), a 165.0% increase on the prior year (90.1% increase on 2019).
  • The increase was principally due to the easing of travel restrictions as compared to the same period last year, increased fuel surcharges and the new Dover – Calais service which commenced in June 2021.
  • For the year to 7 May, Irish Ferries carried 123,600 cars, an increase of 682.3% on the previous year.
  • Freight carryings were 223,900 RoRo units, an increase of 170.7% compared with 2021. Excluding volumes on the Dover – Calais route, Irish Ferries carried 65,300 cars (an increase of 313.3% on 2021) and 100,800 RoRo freight units (an increase of 21.9%).
  • Performance against the prior year in the period since last trading update to 5 March shows strong growth, with car carryings and RoRo freight (excluding Dover – Calais carryings) up 442.4% and 17.2% respectively on the same period in 2021.

DFDS Q1, 2022: Growth, growth, growth…

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Group revenue increased 52% to DKK 5.7bn.

  • Ferry Division’s revenue was increased by higher freight and passenger activity as well as a rise in bunker surcharge revenue.
  • Logistics Division’s revenue was increased by the acquisition of HSF Logistics Group in September 2021 and ICT Logistics in January 2022 as well as higher activity and yield increases for the existing activities.

EBITDA increased 9% to DKK 822m.

  • The total freight EBITDA for ferry and logistics activities before special items increased 10% to DKK 926m driven mainly by growth in the Mediterranean business unit, improved logistics performance, and the acquisition of HSF Logistics Group.
  • The war in Ukraine reduced Baltic Sea’s freight volumes and the result.
  • The total EBITDA for passenger activities in the Baltic Sea, Channel, and Passenger business units decreased 12% to DKK -104m.
  • Earnings were reduced by the re-opening of Oslo-Frederikshavn-Copenhagen in a low season market environment with passenger numbers still recovering from Covid-19. This offset higher Channel earnings as all ferries have continuously operated in this market.

Outlook 2022
The revenue growth outlook is increased to around 30% compared to 2021 due to significantly higher revenue from oil surcharges as well as higher passenger revenue (previously 23-27%).
EBITDA before special items is unchanged DKK 3.9-4.4bn (2021: DKK 3.4bn).
The outlook is detailed on page 10 in the full report.

DFDS Monthly Volume Report: Freight Up 5%, Continued Passenger Recovery

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Ferry – freight:

  • Total volumes in April 2022 were 5.4% above 2021 driven by higher volumes in the Mediterranean and Channel business units.
  • Volumes in the Mediterranean network continued to grow supported by higher capacity. Channel’s volumes were well above last year due to a positive impact from suspension of P&O Ferries sailings through most of the month.
  • North Sea volumes were slightly below 2021 primarily due to dockings that reduced capacity between the Netherlands and the UK.
  • The war in Ukraine lowered Baltic Sea volumes considerably compared to 2021, mainly between Germany and Lithuania.

Ferry – passenger

  • The recovery in passenger numbers continued in April with a tenfold increase to 337k equal to 70% of volumes in April 2019, the latest comparable month pre-Covid-19.

Volumes increased in all regions, including a positive impact from suspension of P&O sailings on the English Channel.

Q1 2022, a success for Finnlines

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•  +27% Revenue EUR 157.0 (124.1)
•  Shipping and Sea Transport Services generated revenue amounting to EUR 150.6 (117.8) million, of which passenger related revenue was EUR 7.5 (5.1) million.
•  The revenue of Port Operations was EUR 12.1 (11.7) million.
•  Cargo units 199k (187k)
•  Cars 36k (44k)
•  Freight tonnes 375k (305k) (freight not possible to measure in units)
•  Pax 117k (101k)

Emanuele Grimaldi, President and CEO, in conjunction with the review:

•  Russia-Ukraine war could likely slowdown the Finnish economy.
•  We stopped vessels operating to and from Russia. The Russian traffic does not represent a meaningful share of our turnover, but it has complemented well our other lines.
• The volumes on each of our other lines we operate have increased in Q1 and positive cargo development is expected to continue.

Ship movements:

•  Finnlines has sold ropax FINNCLIPPER to Grimaldi Group in March 2022
•  Finnlines will purchase ropax VIZZAVONA (ex FINNEAGLE) from Grimaldi Group to replace FINNCLIPPER.
•  Chartered roro EUROCARGO SAVONA, returned to Grimaldi Group in mid-March 2022.
•  The first Eco-series vessel, FINNECO I, was delivered on 28 April 2022 at the Jinling Shipyard. T
•  FINNECO II and III will follow in May 2022, and the two Superstar ropaxes in 2023.

Seafarers must be paid an equivalent to UK national minimum wage

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Following P&O Ferries’ decision to sack 800 workers, the UK government is introducing pay protection reforms requiring ferry operators who regularly call at UK ports to pay their workers the equivalent of the UK national minimum wage.

Announced in the Queen’s speech, the government will implement the changes in the next parliamentary session and will consult closely with the ports and maritime sector on the new laws.

The new legislation will ban ferries that don’t pay their workers the equivalent to minimum wage from docking at UK ports.

Boulogne: Ferry terminal available

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Port of Boulogne Calais has published an expression of interest for users of the ferry berth and accompanying buildings in Boulogne. [document on LinkedIn, in French, deadline 20 May]

By coincidence (?) BioFerries expressed last week its dream to start a new ferry service with a new InCat in 2024. Curt Stavis is the man behind BioFerries. He was the founder of Speedferries, more than 10 years ago.

Curt Stavis started a Facebook Group (click on picture below to join).

MOBY ZAZA chartered out to Baleària for a new link with Morocco

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As of mid-June, ropax MOBY ZAZA will be chartered to Baleària for the summer season.

Some sources revealed to Ferry Shipping News that the 1982-built ferry is expected to be deployed on the route between Almeria and Morocco until next September.

The former OLAU BRITANNIA has been inactive since last autumn in Livorno and was used before as a quarantine hotel.

Rumour: Baleària has been authorised to operate a new link connecting Genoa, Sète, Barcelona and Tanger Med, thus competing with Grandi Navi Veloci.

Hybridisation of ferry MALANGEN

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Ferry MALANGEN (Torghatten Nord AS ) will be rebuilt at the Fosen Yard
Haf Power Solutions AS will supply the hybrid system.
The suppliers to the hybrid system include Corvus Energy (battery packs), The Switch (frequency converters), ACEL (switchboard) and Høglund Marine Automation.