BC Ferries Released its Year-End Results for the Fiscal Year ended March 31, 2021

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The COVID-19 global pandemic has had a significant impact on the company’s operations and financial results.

-40% passengers (13.1 million)

-24% vehicles (6.7 million)

BC Ferries expects financial results to continue to improve, in part due to Safe Restart funding and as the provincial economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic. The company remains optimistic that traffic will begin to return as more travellers become vaccinated and as the Provincial Health Officer eases travel restrictions.

Impacts of Safe Restart funding:

Net earnings were $21.0 million, a decrease of $7.8 million compared to net earnings of $28.8 million in the prior year. This reflects BC Ferries’ recognition of $186.0 million from the $308 million in Safe Restart funding received this fiscal year. Without the $186.0 million in Safe Restart funding – recognized as revenue – the net loss for the year would have been $165.0 million.

 

Inclusive of the Safe Restart funding, revenues decreased by $76.1 million, or 8.1%. Without the revenue contributed by Safe Restart funding, fiscal 2021 total revenues would have decreased by $262.1 million to $679.3 million, or 27.8 % lower than in fiscal 2020.

In response to the impact of COVID-19 on ferry operations, BC Ferries reviewed all spending and reduced its operating expenses in fiscal 2021 by $76.3 million or 8.9%.

The reduction was mainly due to reduced round trips on the major routes and the deferral of certain discretionary costs. The expense reduction includes reduced labour costs, fuel consumption, contracted services, depreciation expense and other miscellaneous costs.

BC Ferries’ Fourth Island Class Ferry Departs Romania

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Following the departure of BC Ferries’ third Island Class ship in May, a fourth Island Class ferry has begun the journey from Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania to Victoria, B.C.

Depending on weather, it will take approximately 60 days for the yet-to-be named ship to make the transatlantic voyage under its own power. (10,700 nautical miles)

The Island Class is a hybrid diesel-electric ferry with a number of key features that support BC Ferries’ Clean Futures Plan and the company’s goal to be efficient and environmentally responsible throughout its system.

Safe Restart Funding Helps BC Ferries Address COVID-19 Impacts

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Q3

-39.6% or 2.9 million passengers

-22.3% or 1.6 million vehicles

Year-to-date

-42.1% or 10.6 million passengers

-26.9% or 5.3 million vehicles

The effects of COVID-19 have negatively impacted BC Ferries’ traffic and revenues over the current year. This trend is expected to continue in the near term as the province recovers from the effects of the pandemic.

In December 2020, BC Ferries received $308 million from the Safe Restart Program, a federal-provincial initiative.

BC Ferries applied nine months’ worth of Safe Restart funding, or $154.8 million, to Q3 revenues. Without this relief, the net loss for the three months ended December 31, 2020 would have been $56.4 million.

As a result of the funding, BC Ferries recorded net earnings of $98.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2020, compared to a net loss of $8.3 million in the same quarter in the prior year.

On a year-to-date basis, BC Ferries’ net earnings were $74.3 million to December 31, 2020. Without federal-provincial Safe Restart funding, the company would have had a net loss of $80.5 million, compared to net earnings of $98.9 million in the same period in the prior year.

Passenger-driven Company BC Ferries Suffers from Pandemic

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BC Ferries released its second quarter results today for the three and six months ended September 30, 2020. COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on the company’s operations and financial results.

  • Net earnings for Q2 of fiscal 2021 were $37.8 million, $57.2 million lower than the same quarter of the previous year.
  • Year-to-date, since April 1, 2020, net losses were $24.2 million, compared to net earnings of $107.2 million in the same period in the prior year, a decline of $131.4 million.
  • Revenue for Q2, at $247.6 million, was down $81.7 million year-over-year.
  • Revenue for the six months ended September 30, 2020 was $385.0 million, down $190.7 million over the same period in the prior year.

During the quarter, BC Ferries carried:

  • 5.5 million passengers (-29%)
  • 2.5 million vehicles (-14%)

Year-to-date, the company has carried:

  • 7.7 million passengers (-43%)
  • 3.8 million vehicles, (-28.7%)

BLUE STAR DELOS Stops Sailings to Undergo Scrubber Conversion

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November 4, 2020. Blue Star Ferries’ ropax BLUE STAR DELOS was transferred to the Perama repair zone (Dock 1) in order to undergo her scheduled scrubber conversion. The popular “blue” ship is expected to return in service in February 2021, while she will be replaced by her fleetmate BLUE STAR CHIOS.

The sisters BLUE STAR CHIOS and BLUE STAR MYCONOS will follow, undergoing a similar conversion.

Pandemic Affects BC Ferries’ Q1 Results of Fiscal 2021

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COVID-19 had a significant impact on first quarter results (April-May-June)

  • Net losses CAD 62 million (net earnings CAD 12.2 million)
  • Revenue CAD 137.4 million (CAD 246.4 million)

At the outset of the pandemic, ferry traffic dropped dramatically and was down 75 to 80% across the system in a matter of days. With the easing of travel restrictions, traffic at the end of June partially recovered and was down approximately 35% compared to this period last year.

  • -11.4% round trips 18,249.5
  • -61.5% passengers 2.2 million
  • -46.7% vehicles 1.3 million

BC Ferries is one of the entities included in the federal government’s transit funding of $540 million in response to the impact of COVID-19. This transit funding is to be matched equally by the Province for a total funding envelope of CAD 1.08 billion.

BC Ferries New ISLAND DISCOVERY Entered Service

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BC Ferries’ newest vessel, ISLAND DISCOVERY, officially commenced service on June 10 on the Texada Island – Powell River route.

ISLAND DISCOVERY is the first of a series of Damen hybrid-electric ships designed for future full electric operation. The ships are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding become available.

Her entry into BC Ferries’ fleet allows for the retirement of the 59-year old NORTH ISLAND PRINCESS.

The second vessel in the Island Class series, ISLAND AURORA, will replace QUADRA QUEEN II on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route next week. QUADRA QUEEN II will become a relief vessel.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BC Ferries created a short video with messages from

community representatives, so people can take a virtual tour of the ship instead.