BC Ferries: Q2 results 2023 reflect continued strong traffic

By | 2023 Newsletter week 48 | No Comments

BC Ferries’ net earnings (compared to same period last year)

  • For the 3 months ended September 30, 2023: $102.1 million (+26.9%)
  • For the 6 months ended September 30, 2023, $117.3 million (+32.8%)


  • Q2: 7.8 million (+4%)
  • Year-to-date: 13.6 million (+5%)


  • Q2: 3.0 million (0%)
  • Year-to-date: 5.5 million (+2%)


  • Q2: +11% primarily as a result of an increase in vehicle and passenger traffic levels, tariff rates, fuel surcharges and retail revenue.
  • Year-to-date +10% over the same period in the prior year impacted by factors such as changes in overall traffic levels, traffic types and tariff rates.
  • While revenues were higher, expenses from operations increased by 11% mainly due to continued inflationary pressure across all cost categories.

BC Ferries Third Quarter Results

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In the three months ending 31 December 2022, BC Ferries reported that compared to the same period in 2021;

  • 5 million Passengers and 2.0 million vehicles travelled, an increase of 10% and 3%, respectively.
  • Revenue, inclusive of Safe Restart Funding, was $234.8 million, an increase of $12.6 million.
  • Net loss was $22.7 million, compared to a net loss of $1.6 million, primarily as a result of less Safe Restart Funding being applied in the quarter and higher operating costs.
  • Operating expenses were $245.2 million compared to $209.5 million. This increase is mainly due to an increased number of sailings, with corresponding higher labour costs, as well as higher fuel prices and maintenance expenses.

BC Ferries Q2 shows another record level of vehicle traffic

By | 2022 Newsletter week 48 | No Comments

BC Ferries released its Q2 results for the three and six months ending September 30, 2022. Vehicle and passenger traffic, revenue and net earnings are all higher compared to the same periods in the prior year.

In Q2, the quarter ending September 30, 2022, BC Ferries carried 7.5 million passengers and 3.0 million vehicles.

Year-to-date, the company carried 12.9 million passengers  (+28%) and 5.4 million vehicles (+15%) respectively, compared to the same period in the prior year, primarily as a result of travel restrictions being in place through most of Q1 in the prior year.

BC Ferries’ net earnings for Q2 were $80.4 million, consistent with the same quarter the previous year.

Year-to-date since April 1, 2022, net earnings were $88.3 million compared to net earnings of $84.6 million in the prior year.

Revenue for the three months ending September 30, 2022, at $343.1 million, was up $26.3 million over the same period in the prior year primarily as a result of higher passenger traffic volumes, net retail sales, ferry transportation fees and fuel surcharges.

Year-to-date, revenue was $608.0 million, up $62.0 million over the same period in the prior year primarily as a result of higher traffic volumes, net retail sales and fuel surcharges partially offset by lower Safe Restart Funding.

BC Ferries: More ships, more service

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Modernization and replacement of vessels, terminals and IT systems are the centrepieces of BC Ferries’ Performance Term Six submission provided to the BC Ferries Commissioner recently for rate determination activities.

The 12-Year Capital Plan responds to anticipated passenger and vehicle growth and changing customer needs. It includes:

  • Building 7 new major vessels to replace 6 existing ships, and an incremental vessel to support growth and improve resiliency
  • Building 4 more Island Class vessels to improve capacity on inter-island routes
  • 2 new Island Class to serve the Crofton – Salt Spring Island route
  • 1 new Island Class to serve the Quadra Island – Cortes Island route
  • 1 new Island Class to serve as a relief vessel and allow for the redeployment of existing vessels to support growth on several routes.

In addition to investments included in the 12-Year Capital Plan, BC Ferries is planning customer enhancements including:

  • Expanding two-ship operation on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route during peak season to increase sailing frequency.
  • Increasing sailing frequency between Nanaimo and Metro Vancouver to better support changing travel patterns.
  • Providing an additional sailing each week in peak season between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii.
  • Deploying a second vessel on the Swartz Bay – Salt Spring Island route in peak season.
  • Deploying a larger vessel on the Denman Island – Hornby Island route in peak season.

BC Ferries full year results: everything up, but still not to pre-pandemic

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BC Ferries: traffic, revenue, net earnings and expenditures are all up, however the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022 (fiscal 2022) are still lagging behind pre-pandemic levels.

Key figures (full year, ending March 31, 2022)

+37% passengers (17.9 million) (but still 20% lower than pre-COVID fiscal 2019)

+26% vehicles (8.5 million) (but still 5% lower than pre-COVID fiscal 2019)

+12% Revenue $965.4 million

+11% Operating $868.0 million (increases in the number of sailings, staff required to provide more service, fuel and maintenance expenses.

BC Ferries experienced a net loss of $68.2 million prior to recognizing Safe Restart Funding. After recognizing $102.3 million of this federal-provincial funding, net earnings were $34.1 million, an increase of $13.1 million compared to the previous year, which included $186.0 million in Safe Restart Funding.

In December 2020, BC Ferries received $308 million through the Safe Restart Program, a federal-provincial initiative intended to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies.  Assistance to the public transportation sector, including BC Ferries, has been a critical part of the BC Safe Restart Plan. Without this funding, BC Ferries would have recorded a total loss of $233.2 million over the past two years ($68.2 million in fiscal 2022 and $165.0 million in fiscal 2021).

The operating relief component of the Safe Restart Funding BC Ferries received has now been exhausted. The company does not foresee the need for any further COVID relief funding.

LMG Marin to make the concept design for the new BC Ferries “Major Class”

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LMG Marin has been selected by BC Ferries as design agent for its new Major class vessels.

The first stage of the project will soon start with the overall goal to achieve a zero-emission design by use of proven technology. This concept design will be later further finetuned into a basic design and a specification package that will be used for contracting the new ships at a yard.

The new Major Class ferries are expected to be operational by 2029.