Strong third quarter for DFDS

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Outlook firmed up by solid Q3, 2023

  • Q3 EBITDA of DKK 1.6bn was ahead of expectations.
  • Passengers: strong high season.
  • Freight: performance as expected below last year.
  • Revenue decreased 2% to DKK 7.2bn
  • Cash flow further improved.
  • EBITDA outlook firmed up to DKK 4.9-5.2bn (DKK 4.8-5.2bn).

“We have firmed up our outlook on the back of a solid quarter, not least a very good passenger result. Freight markets are currently challenging, and we continue to adapt our ferry and road capacity to optimise utilisation.”

Torben Carlsen, CEO

Key freight outlook assumptions for 2023:

  • Q4 Freight Ferry Volumes: Expected to be on par with the volumes from the previous year.
  • Logistics Activity Levels: Anticipated to be below the levels seen in the previous year.
  • 2023 Q4 Passenger Volumes: Expected to be higher compared to the same period in the previous year.
  • Revenue Outlook: Overall Group revenue expected to remain at around the same level as 2022. Higher passenger and logistics revenue offset by lower revenue primarily from bunker surcharges.
  • Earnings Outlook: The Group’s EBITDA for 2023 is expected to be within a range of DKK 4.9-5.2 billion. This is a slight adjustment from the previous range of DKK 4.8-5.2 billion provided earlier. In 2022, the EBITDA was DKK 5.0 billion.

The improved outlook is attributed to better than expected earnings in the Ferry Division, while the Logistics Division faces more challenging market conditions, leading to a reduced outlook in that segment.

“Every Minute Counts”

Continued improvements in the quarter ensured that short-term emission reductions targeted towards 2030 continues to be on track. Ferry improvements were driven by various incremental vessel upgrades and the schedule optimisation program “Every Minute Counts” focused on reducing turnaround time in port terminals, and updated schedules enabling lower speed and reduced fuel consumption.

Ferry CO2 emissions per GT nautical mile were in Q3 2023 reduced 4% compared to Q3 2022 across the route network.

DFDS October 2023 Volumes: Freight 1% Lower, Passengers 4% Higher

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Ferry – freight:

  • Total volumes in October 2023 were 1.4% below 2022.
  • North Sea volumes were just below 2022 as robust automotive volumes were offset by lower volumes between primarily Sweden and the UK.
  • Mediterranean volumes were below 2022 as demand currently is stagnating in both Europe and Türkiye.
  • Channel volumes were above 2022 driven by the Dover Strait routes.
  • Baltic Sea volumes were below 2022 due to lower activity levels, not least in the Swedish construction sector, and a continued negative impact from the war in Ukraine.
  • For the last twelve months 2023-22, the total transported freight lane metres decreased 9.9% to 38.6m from 42.8m in 2022-21.

Ferry – passenger:

  • The number of passengers increased 4.0% driven by more Channel passengers. The number of cars increased 1.6%.
  • The total number of passengers increased 29% to 4.5m for the last twelve months, 2023-22, from 3.5m in 2022-21.

Italy’s Ferry Sector Rides High with Strong Summer Traffic Growth in 2023

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Italy experienced robust growth in ferry traffic during the summer of 2023, according to official data from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. The ferry sector witnessed a noteworthy surge in the number of passengers transported, as revealed by the statistics for the July-August 2023 period.

Comparing this two-month interval with the same period in 2022, there was a remarkable 7% increase in ferry passengers. The growth becomes even more apparent when juxtaposed with the figures from July-August 2019, with a substantial 22% rise. Looking at the broader picture, the January-August 2023 period showcased a 25% surge in ferry passenger traffic compared to the same period in 2019.

This positive trend in 2023 follows a challenging period in 2020, marked by a 29% drop in ferry passenger numbers. The sector showed signs of recovery in 2021, narrowing the gap to -10%, and continued the upward trajectory in 2022 with a notable 15% increase.

The buoyant growth in ferry traffic during the summer of 2023 not only signifies a rebound from the setbacks of 2020 but also demonstrates the resilience and vitality of Italy’s maritime transportation sector. The significant year-over-year and pre-pandemic comparisons underscore the sector’s ability to adapt and thrive in a dynamic environment.

Turkish Tersan Shipyard Buys Norwegian Havyard Leirvik Shipyard

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Recently Helsinki Shipyard was acquired by the Canadian shipyard group  Davie.

Now the Turkish Tersan Shipyard bought the Norwegian shipyard Havyard Leirvik.

The transaction is based on a share sale, where Eqva ASA is selling its shares (100%) in Havyard Leirvik Holding AS, where the subsidiaries Havyard Leirvik AS and Havyard Leirvik Eiendom AS are included. The transaction is settled by NOK 30 million in cash.

RFI Has Officially Cancelled the Public Tender for Constructing of up to Three High-Speed Ferries

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Launched last year, the initiative by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana sought shipyards interested in building dual-fuel fast ferries for deployment on the Strait of Messina. With no participants in the initial round, a second attempt was considered, but it has now been definitively called off. The contract, valued at around EUR 52 million, faced challenges such as the complexity of the procedure and escalating raw material costs. Despite two shipyards seeking more details last year, they ultimately chose not to participate in the tender by submitting an offer.

Last trip for Kerkyra Seaways’ ferry HERMES

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After two years of service on the Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Paxoi line, Kerkyra Seaways’ ferry HERMES completed its final crossing on November 15, 2023. The Japanese-built vessel has been sold to Jadrolinija to modernize the local service fleet and is expected to be delivered by December. Originally purchased in December 2019 from the Japanese Nankai Ferry to upgrade the local ferry service, HERMES will be temporarily replaced by a chartered ferry.

Photo: Kerkyra Seaways