Brittany Ferries: summer passenger and freight figures (June – September)

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Passenger numbers (all markets): a return to growth.

2019= 1,259,587 pax (pre-Covid comparison year)

2022= 1,046,761 pax

2023= 1,090,254 pax

Freight numbers (all markets): a systemic downward trend.

2019= 59,057 freight units (pre-Covid comparison year)

2022= 50,868 freight units

2023= 48,114 freight units

Comments by Christophe Mathieu CEO Brittany Ferries

“These are encouraging passenger figures, reflecting our first post-Covid year operating all ships, from all ports. This year will deliver a positive economic result and our new ships lead the sector on comfort, accessibility, and lower emissions.”

 “While the majority of freight is carried outside the summer months, the summer trend for freight reflects an overall decline in volumes. This is particularly worrying on eastern Channel routes, where we have been hit by over-capacity on short sea routes such as Dover/Calais. The ensuing price war has led to a year-on-year decline of around 6%. That’s for services operating from our eastern ports of Le Havre, Caen, and Cherbourg. Compared with 2019, the figures are even more challenging, down by around 30%.”

Christophe Mathieu CEO Brittany Ferries

Positive Growth:

  • Roscoff-Cork Voyages: Twice-weekly return voyages between Roscoff and Cork have boosted passenger numbers during the summer.
  • France-Ireland Services: Overall, volumes on France-Ireland services have risen by 60% compared to 2019. Year-on-year (2023 vs. 2022) increase is 11%.
  • Rosslare-Bilbao Service: The service has reported significant growth, with 20,000 more travelers year-on-year. This represents a 155% increase, and it is attributed to a new cruise-ferry powered by cleaner LNG.

Success in Regional Development:

  • Bilbao-Rosslare Route: The gamble on this route has paid off, achieving its objectives. It contributes to regional development and environmental benefits, reducing the number of lorries on the roads and increasing car passengers on ferries.

Mixed Performance:

  • UK Routes to Brittany and Normandy: Year-on-year growth (2023 vs. 2022) reported, but numbers are still below pre-Covid 2019 figures. Brittany performed better with a 15% decline compared to a 25% decline for Normandy.
  • UK/Spain Routes: After growth last year, these routes returned to 2019 levels, showing a small increase. This achievement was accompanied by greater operational efficiency and reduced emissions, despite one less return sailing per week.

Overall, the data reflects a mix of positive growth and challenges in various routes and regions served by Brittany Ferries.

Brittany Ferries’ mantra: the competitive distortion, particularly on freight services offered on eastern ports of Cherbourg, Caen and Le Havre.

Viking Line: A strong quarter

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January-September 2023 

  • Sales amounted to MEUR 379.2 (370.2).
  • Other operating revenue was MEUR 8.9 (8.8).
  • Operating income totalled MEUR 52.4 (18.9).
  • Net financial items were MEUR -9.0 (-7.5).
  • Income before taxes totalled MEUR 43.4 (11.4).
  • Income after taxes totalled MEUR 34.6 (9.5).


Unchanged compared to the Half-Year Report as of June 30, 2023, which means that income before taxes is expected to be significantly better than last year provided that energy prices remain at current levels.

Q3, 2023

  • Sales amounted to MEUR 152.9 (170.4).
  • Other operating revenue was MEUR 0.0 (0.5).
  • Operating income totalled MEUR 35.3 (26.9).
  • Net financial items were MEUR -1.1 (-2.8).
  • Income before taxes totalled MEUR 34.2 (24.1).
  • Income after taxes totalled MEUR 27.6 (19.3).



Summary of the comments by CEO Jan Hanses


  1. Third Quarter Results:
    • Results for the third quarter exceeded expectations.
    • Passenger and cargo volumes continued to rise, despite having fewer vessels in operation.
    • Planned sales prices were achieved.
    • Bunker (vessel oil) prices have fallen gradually but remain high compared to pre-pandemic levels and due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
  2. Joint Venture and Vessel Acquisition:
    • On August 9, Viking Line and Gotlandsbolaget announced the formation of a joint venture to develop and provide cruises using the former M/S Birka Stockholm.
    • Viking Line acquired 50% of the vessel for MEUR 19 million.
    • The joint venture received approval from the Swedish Competition Authority on August 23.
  3. EU Emissions Trading System:
    • Starting in 2024, Viking Line’s traffic will be subject to the EU Emissions Trading System.
    • This will impose costs that can only be partially adjusted in the medium term through energy efficiency efforts.
    • The availability and cost of fossil-free fuels are not economically viable at the moment.
    • The company intends to use cost savings from the island exemption (for service between Finland and Åland) to continue transitioning to fossil-free fuels and improving energy efficiency.
  4. Summer Passenger Demand:
    • During the summer months of June to August, nearly 1.8 million passengers sailed with Viking Line’s vessels.
    • Many departures during the holiday season were sold out well in advance.
    • Strong demand is attributed to local tourism, recovery in international tourism for the Nordic region, and the appeal of the company’s vessels.
  5. Nine-Month Passenger Numbers:
    • Over the first nine months of the year, 3.8 million passengers sailed on Viking Line’s vessels.
    • Occupancy rates have been good on all vessels.
  6. Market Share:
    • On the route between Turku, Åland, and Stockholm, VIKING GRACE and VIKING GLORY experienced intense travel.
    • The market share for the first nine months was over 73%.
  7. Overall Performance:
    • The report period was very strong, even without considering the income effect of the sale of ROSELLA.
    • Acknowledgment and thanks were extended to customers, partners, and staff for their contributions to the company’s good results.

Summary of key events and information during the first 9 months of 2023

  1. Vessel Operations:
    • For most of this period, Viking Line operated with two fewer vessels compared to 2022, specifically the AMORELLA and ROSELLA.
  2. VIKING GRACE Dry Docking:
    • VIKING GRACE was dry-docked from January 16 to February 12, during which it was replaced by VIKING CINDERELLA on the Turku-Mariehamn/Långnäs-Stockholm route.
    • VIKING CINDERELLA later resumed its regular day cruise service between Stockholm and Mariehamn.
    • ROSELLA operated between Mariehamn and Kapellskär until January 8 when it was taken out of service.
    • VIKING XPRS was temporarily out of service for three days in connection with its delisting from Estonia’s register of bareboat charterers and its entry into the Åland Register of Ships on March 6.
    • As of March 6, VIKING XPRS sails under the Finnish flag.
  5. Summer Destination Cruises:
    • During the summer period, both GABRIELLA and VIKING CINDERELLA conducted various destination cruises to places like Visby, Sweden’s High Coast, Bornholm, and Åland.
  6. CINDERELLA and GABRIELLA Tandem Service:
    • From June 29 to August 6, CINDERELLA and GABRIELLA served in tandem on the Helsinki-Mariehamn-Stockholm route with stopovers in Tallinn.
    • On August 7, CINDERELLA returned to its regular day cruise service between Stockholm and Mariehamn.
    • VIKING GLORY was launched into service on the Turku-Mariehamn/Långnäs-Stockholm route on March 1, 2022.
    • VIKING GRACE served this route alongside VIKING GLORY.
    • AMORELLA ceased operating on this route on February 28, 2022.
    • Both VIKING GLORY and VIKING GRACE were taken out of service for planned work in September 2023.
  8. Passenger and Cargo Statistics:
    • The total number of passengers on the Group’s vessels during this period was 3,818,810.
    • The Group had a total market share in its service area of approximately 35.2%.
    • Market demand for travel has been significantly higher compared to the same period last year, partly due to the reduction in pandemic restrictions.
  9. Cargo Volume:
    • The Group’s total cargo volume for the period was 93,565 cargo units.
    • The Group’s share of the cargo market was approximately 16.7%.
    • Demand for cargo in the service area decreased during the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year, likely due to economic uncertainty in the region. However, the number of cargo units transported increased.
  10. Passenger Cars:
    • The market share for passenger cars was approximately 29.0%, which is a decrease compared to the previous year (32.9%).
    • This decrease can be attributed, in part, to the termination of the short-haul Kapellskär-Mariehamn route.

Tallink Grupp Q3: improvement and positive impact of difficult decisions

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  • 1 775 821 passengers (-6.2%).
  • Two vessels less operating on the routes in Q3 2022: -16.6% trips (1,709 trips in Q3 2023 vs 2,050 trips in Q3 2022).
  • Net profit MEUR 48.7 million (+28.5%).
  • EBITDA MEUR 82.1 million (+21.3%).
  • Revenue MEUR 240.7 million (-5.8%).
  • Revenue per passenger increased on some of the routes and ticket, hotel accommodation and charter revenues all also increased.
  • At the end of the third quarter (30 September), the company’s total liquidity buffer (cash, cash equivalents and unused credit facilities) amounted to MEUR 199 million (MEUR 226.0 million at 30 September 2022).
  • Q3 investments MEUR 6.1 million.

 1 January – 30 September

  • Revenue MEUR 641.6 million (+13%).
  • EBITDA MEUR 177.7 million (+108%).
  • Net profit MEUR 76.7 million (MEUR 2.8 million loss).

Tallink Grupp’s CEO Paavo Nõgene:

„Nothing in these results is the result of chance, a good economic climate or anything similar. It is all down to simple hard work, tough decisions, strong cost control, teamwork and stubborn perseverance.”

 “Both our third quarter and 9 months financials show clearly continuing recovery after very challenging years and the positive impact of the many difficult decisions we have taken as a company between 2020 and today.”

 “What is clear, is that the strategy we have chosen for our operations for the foreseeable future, mixing vessel chartering with the most optimal levels of vessels in operation on our core routes, is the right one for now.”

Attica Board approves merger with ANEK

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The Attica Holdings board of directors approved the merger plan with ANEK SA, absorbing the latter, at its meeting on Monday 23 October.

The shareholders of ANEK will receive 0.1217 new ordinary registered shares of ATTICA, with a nominal value of thirty MEURo cents (€0.30) each, for each one (1) old, ordinary or preference, registered share of ANEK, with a nominal value of thirty MEURo cents (€0.30) each.

ATTICA shareholders will continue to hold the same number of ATTICA ordinary shares as they held prior to the occurrence of the results of the Merger.

As a consequence of the issue of new shares to be allocated to the shareholders of ANEK in accordance with the above exchange ratio, the share capital of ATTICA will be increased by the amount of €8,207,505 through the issue of 27,358,350 new dematerialised, ordinary, registered shares with voting rights, with a nominal value of €0.30 each.

Airbus renews its transatlantic fleet with lower-emission ships

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Airbus will renew the entire fleet of chartered vessels that transport aircraft subassemblies between production facilities in Europe and the United States with three modern, low-emission roll-on/roll-off vessels, supported by wind-assisted propulsion.

Airbus has commissioned shipowner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs to build, own and operate these new, highly efficient vessels that will enter into service from 2026.

Continued economic instability impacts Port of Antwerp-Bruges’ throughput figures, but Ro-Ro is stable

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  • Ro-Ro traffic remains unchanged (0.9%).
  • Throughput of transport equipment grew by 8.9% thanks to growth in the throughput of new cars (+12.6%) to 2.67 million units.
  • 7 million tons of unaccompanied cargo (excluding containers) was shipped on RoRo vessels (-1.4%).
  • The portion of this cargo related to Ireland grew by 18.5%, while traffic to and from the UK fell (-3.8%).

Seatrials started for Caronte&Tourist’s new ferry NEREA at Sefine Shipyard

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  • Naos Ship & Boat Design revealed that Turkish shipbuilder Sefine started seatrials for NEREA, the new ferry ordered by Siremar (company part of Caronte & Tourist group) in 2021 and scheduled for delivery in the coming months.
  • This new 8,300 GT ropax, entirely financed by Caronte & Tourist, is part of a wider fleet renovation plan.
  • NEREA is being built according to a design from Naos Design and will be deployed on the port of Milazzo – Aeolian Islands.
  • Dimensions are: 110m long, 20m wide, 800 passengers, 420 lane metre
  • Propulsion: Dual-fuel LNG hybrid

(Photo credit: Naos Ship and Boat Design)