DFDS Q1: ahead of expectations for the quarter driven by the Ferry Division

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Q1 2024

  • Revenue up 11% to DKK 7.0bn
  • EBIT reduced 45% to DKK 200m
  • Adjusted free cash flow of DKK -327m
  • CO2 ferry emission intensity lowered 3%


  • EBIT of DKK 2.0-2.4bn
  • Revenue growth of 8-11%
  • Adjusted free cash flow of around DKK 1.5bn

Torben Carlsen, CEO:

  • 2024 is the first year of new strategy “Moving Together Towards 2030” focused on unlocking the value of DFDS’ expanded network through organic growth and transitioning to become a greener company.
  • Ekol Logistics: transaction is expected to close in Q4 2024.
  • FRS: the newly acquired ferry routes on the Strait of Gibraltar were off to a good start.
  • High priority: improving earnings for activities that currently face market headwinds such as the Baltic Sea and Channel ferry networks as well parts of Cold Chain logistics activities.
  • The short-term decarbonisation of ferry activities is on target, and in parallel DFDS is laying the groundwork to achieve its ambition of having six green ferries on the water by the end of 2030.
  • Market environment remains mixed: a higher than expected pick-up in ferry volumes across most of the network in Q1 while land transport network mostly faced flat or lower volumes.
  • Persistent overcapacity enhanced pricing pressure in certain market areas.
  • “While we are on track to deliver on our outlook, we continue to focus on improving profit through operational efficiencies across our network in parallel with the execution of our strategy.”

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DFDS April: freight growth across most of network

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April volume numbers are compared to 2023 impacted by most of the Easter holiday period falling in March this year compared to April in 2023. In general, this decreases passenger volumes and increases freight volumes for the month compared to 2023.

Ferry – freight:

  • Total volumes in April 2024 were 13.9% above 2023 and up 10.1% adjusted for the addition of Strait of Gibraltar routes in 2024 and closure of the Calais-Tilbury route in 2023.
  • North Sea volumes were above 2023 following higher volumes on most routes.
  • Mediterranean volumes were below 2023 as volumes were decreased by the timing difference in April 2024 of a national holiday week compared to 2023.
  • Channel volumes were above 2023 as were Baltic Sea volumes with all routes carrying more volumes.
  • For the last twelve months 2024-23, the total transported freight lane metres decreased 0.9% to 39.7m from 40.1m in 2023-22. The decrease was 1.9% adjusted for the addition of Strait of Gibraltar routes and the Calais-Tilbury route closure.

Ferry – passenger:

  • The number of passengers in April 2024 were 24.5% above 2023 and down 7.6% adjusted for addition of the Strait of Gibraltar routes.
  • The decrease was driven by the Easter timing difference. The number of cars were 21.1% above 2023 and down 6.2% adjusted for Strait of Gibraltar.
  • For the last twelve months 2024-23, the total number of passengers increased 21.8% to 5.1m compared to 4.2m for 2023-22. The increase was 10.0% adjusted for the addition of Strait of Gibraltar routes.

Finnlines swiftly navigates the challenges

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Q1 was challenging but Finnlines managed to navigate through obstacles, such as high interest rates, inflation, geopolitical concerns, and a slowdown in economic growth in Europe.

Several political strikes in February and a four-week long strike in March–April resulted that Finnlines earnings declined notably.

The result was also burdened by the start-up costs of two new freight-passenger vessels.

Key figures Finnlines Group Q1

-0.9% Revenue EUR 162.2 million

-15.4% EBITDA EUR 30.1 million

Freight units 184,000

Cars 27,000 cars

Passengers 153,000

Leisure travel surged remarkably on the route between mainland Finland, Åland Islands and Sweden after the introduction of the two Superstar vessels. Expectations for the summer season are thus high.

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Echandia will supply Öresundslinjen’s ferry Hamlet with maritime battery system

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Swedish maritime battery system supplier Echandia has received an order from Öresundslinjen for the conversion of ferry Hamlet into full electrical operation.

The battery system is scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2025.

Operating on the Helsingør – Helsingborg route, Hamlet traverses the Öresund strait up to 8000 times annually. The battery system is tailored for a minimum operational lifespan of 10 years without requiring battery replacement. Furthermore, the battery can be recharged in both ports in as little as 11 minutes on average.

More information: Echandia

Stena Line to increase cargo capacity by 30% on Stena Forerunner and Stena Foreteller

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Stena RoRo has signed a conversion contract with China Merchants Jinling (Weihai) Shipyard for the installation of an additional cargo deck, increased thruster capacity and preparations for shore power onboard Stena Foreteller and Stena Forerunner.

The cargo capacity will increase by 30% and the vessels will after conversion be ready to meet future efficiency requirements.

The conversion for both vessels will be finalised during 2025.

May 21 – First shipment for Lakeway Link’s new RoRo-service between Gdynia and Södertälje

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On May 21, Lakeway Link will start a RoRo service between Gdynia and Södertälje, with three weekly departures in each direction.

To deploy this service, Lakeway Link has acquired the Lakeway Express. The RoRo vessel is sailing under Swedish flag and will have its home port in Västerås, where Lakeway Link has its headquarters.

Lakeway Express, with a carrying capacity of 1625 lane metres or approximately 108 trailers, is fully equipped to meet trailer, project cargo and mafi transport needs as well. The vessel will call the OT Port Gdynia and the Port of Södertälje on the Swedish side. The journey between the two destinations is approximately 22 hours. Following the reconstruction of the Södertälje locks in 2026, the service is expected to expand to include Västerås, accessed through Lake Mälaren.

Source: Lakeway Link

Torghatten won the first ferry contract in Sweden

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Swedish Västtrafik announced that Torghatten AB has won the tender for the Strömstad-Koster route for a contract of 15 years.

Torghatten will build two new fully-electric ferries to operate the connection, thereby further expanding its green fleet.

This is a fantastic day for us at Torghatten and Nordic Ferry Infrastructure! We have been working for some time to gain a foothold in Sweden, and Strömstad-Koster will be the starting point for us, says managing director of Torghatten AB, Stein Andre Hergistad-Olsen.

In addition to the new contract for Stömstad-Koster, Torghatten operates the autonomous city ferry Estelle in Stockholm. Torghatten wants to establish itself as a solid ferry operator in Sweden.


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Finnlines, in partnership with GIT Coatings, is accelerating its decarbonization efforts by adopting XGIT-FUEL, an innovative graphene-based hard foul release hull coating, across its ro-ro and ro-pax fleets. Starting with their first vessel in 2022, Finnlines has already applied this high-performance hull coating to four vessels as part of a recently signed fleet agreement, reducing fuel consumption and emissions by around 7% compared to previously used coating.

Source: Gitcoatings

On May 8, 2024, Asterion II entered the port of Piraeus fully refreshed following a period of a serious refit and upgrades at Elefsis shipyards. The ship is sporting the Anek Lines livery and expected to serve initially on the Piraeus – Heraklion route with her fleet mate Kissamos. She used to serve on the Patras – Venice line under Superfast Ferries operation. After the successful merger of Anek Lines from Attica Group it was decided to enter the domestic ferry service replacing Kriti II.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos

On May 6, 2024, HSC Caldera Vista departed for Spain (Tarifa) following the decision of Africa Morocco Link (AML) to operate on the Tarifa – Tanger Ville line with two highspeed crafts. Caldera Vista was chartered from Seajets and will be followed by HSC Morocco Express 1 (ex-Highspeed 3), which undergoing a serious refit and upgrades at Perama repair zone since October 2023.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos