DFDS Q4 interim & full-year report: solid result for 2023

By | 2024 Newsletter week 6 | No Comments
  • EBITDA of DKK 5.0bn in line with Win23
  • Revenue up 2% to DKK 27.3bn
  • Ferry & Logistics network expanded
  • Adjusted free cash flow of DKK 2.8bn
  • Total dividend and share buyback of DKK 600m
  • EBIT 2024 outlook of DKK 2.0-2.4bn (2023: DKK 2.3bn)

Q4 2023

  • Challenging freight markets
  • EBITDA reduced 5% to DKK 1.0bn
  • Cash inflow of DKK 1.5bn from sale and leaseback of three ferries
  • CO2 ferry emission intensity lowered 2%


  • EBIT of DKK 2.0-2.4bn
  • Revenue growth of 5-8%
  • Adjusted free cash flow of around DKK 1.5bn

“We’re pleased to deliver a solid result for 2023 despite challenging freight markets. Our ferry and logistics network has been expanded significantly, and in 2024 we will focus on unlocking value as we start executing on our new strategic and financial ambitions,” says Torben Carlsen, CEO.

Read the Q4 2023 interim and full-year report here.

DFDS January volumes: good start to the year

By | 2024 Newsletter week 6 | No Comments

Ferry – freight

  • Total volumes in January 2024 were 10.1% above 2023 and up 5.1% adjusted for the addition of Strait of Gibraltar routes and closure of the Calais-Tilbury route.
  • North Sea volumes were above 2023 partly due to the addition of further automotive volumes on one route.
  • Mediterranean volumes were below 2023 following a slow start as volumes picked up through the month.
  • Channel volumes were above 2023 driven by the Dover Strait routes.
  • Baltic Sea volumes were also above 2023 despite reduction of capacity between Estonia and Sweden compared to 2023.
  • For the last twelve months 2024-23, the total transported freight lane metres decreased 6.7% to 38.7m from 41.6m in 2023-22.

Ferry – passenger

  • The number of passengers in January 2024 were 87.4% above 2023 and up 2.7% adjusted for the addition of Strait of Gibraltar routes.
  • The adjusted increase was driven by more Channel passengers while the number of passengers on other routes were below 2023.
  • The number of cars were 58.4% above 2023 and on level with 2023 adjusted for Strait of Gibraltar.
  • For the last twelve months 2024-23, the total number of passengers increased 19.7% to 4.7m compared to 3.9m for 2023-22.

With the acquisition of FRS Iberia/Maroc, DFDS officially enters the Strait of Gibraltar

By | 2024 Newsletter week 02 | No Comments

DFDS has completed the acquisition of FRS Iberia/Maroc and thus enters the Strait of Gibraltar short-sea ferry market connecting Spain and Morocco. [announcement]

The acquisition expands DFDS’ network to a region where growth is expected to be supported by nearshoring of supply chains closer to Europe.

Expected annual trade growth of 8% between Morocco and Europe for the next five years.

The integration of the passenger business is expected to benefit from sharing of operating and yield management capabilities, not least from the Channel short-sea routes. Optimisation of digital distribution channels is moreover expected to increase the share of online bookings.

The freight activities will be strengthened by becoming part of a pan-European freight ferry network. The integration is also expected to benefit from a customer overlap and cross sales opportunities.

Integration synergies are expected to be driven primarily by growth synergies as limited cost synergies are expected. The integration is expected to be completed within three years.

FRS Iberia/Maroc will become part of the Ferry Division and their top management team consisting of Ronny Moriana Glindemann and Tim Gädecken have joined DFDS and will continue to manage the business.

DFDS strategy update

By | 2023 Newsletter week 50 | No Comments

DFDS’ strategy and financial ambitions have been updated as the Win23 strategy period, 2018-2023, comes to an end.

  • Organic growth focus to unlock value from expanded network.
  • Green transition ambition of 6 green ferries on the water by 2030
  • Financial ambitions 2024-2026:
    • Increase ROIC to above 10%
    • Annual Adjusted Free Cash Flow of minimum DKK 1.5bn
    • Financial leverage, NIBD/EBITDA, of 2.5x by 2026

Towards 2030, focus will shift to unlocking the value of the expanded network by accelerating organic growth through increased exposure to high-growth markets, enhanced network capabilities, and increased relevance for freight customers requiring bundled transport and logistics solutions.

Five routes will be pursued to unlock the value of the expanded network and reach financial targets:

  • Protect & Grow Profits – Organic growth focus driven by expanded product range and bundling of products to meet customer demand. Benefit from broader geographical network and access to high-growth markets. Enhance competitive cost base and capacity utilisation focus.
  • Standardise to Simplify – Standardise operating procedures across our network to reduce complexity, enable growth and faster response to market developments. Reduce cost to serve through higher operating efficiency.
  • Digitise to Transform – Further develop and grow self-service customer options. Provide more transparency and green data to enable flow optimisations. . Automate port terminal operations, deploy AI to enhance planning and prediction capabilities for sea and land transport. Future-proof tech platform to adopt new technologies faster and offer easier connectivity.
  • Moving to Green – Achieve short-term climate plan targets through the Every Minute Counts ferry scheduling program and technical upgrades. Electrify port terminal and warehouse operations. Decarbonise trucking by switching to biofuel and battery driven trucks. Prepare green ferry newbuilding program and continue to develop partnerships to increase supply of green fuels.
  • Be a Great Place to Work – Safety First program rollout. Adapt to new expectations among employees and provide engaging leadership. Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among managers as well as office and non-office colleagues.

Six planned newbuildings:

  • The 2030 target of a 45% reduction in ferry emission intensity for the existing fleet is unchanged. This includes the ambition to have six green ferries in operation by the end of 2030. The baseline for the emission reduction target is 2008.
  • The ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 is unchanged.

DFDS November Volumes: Freight 2% Lower, Passengers 4% Higher

By | 2023 Newsletter week 50 | No Comments

Ferry – freight:

  • Total volumes in November 2023 were 1.5% below 2022.
  • North Sea volumes were below 2022 due to lower volumes between the UK and on the other side Scandinavia and the Continent.
  • Mediterranean volumes were just below 2022 due to the current general slowdown in demand.
  • Channel volumes were above 2022 driven by the Dover Strait routes.
  • Baltic Sea volumes were below 2022 due to a continued lower activity level in Sweden and the Baltic countries.
  • For the last twelve months 2023-22, the total transported freight lane metres decreased 8.9% to 38.5m from 42.3m in 2022-21.

Ferry – passenger:

  • The number of passengers increased 4.4% driven by primarily more Channel passengers.
  • The number of cars decreased 2.4%.
  • The total number of passengers increased 26% to 4.5m for the last twelve months, 2023-22, from 3.5m in 2022-21.

Electric ferries across the English Channel? By 2030 says DFDS

By | 2023 Newsletter week 42 | No Comments

The French Minister for Foreign Trade, Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, Olivier Becht and CEO of DFDS, Torben Carlsen, met to discuss decarbonisation of the shipping sector and the electrification of maritime traffic across the English Channel.

DFDS commits to invest in innovation and technology and deploying a fleet of battery-powered vessels in the Eastern Channel by 2030.

Source: DFDS

DFDS: Sell & Leaseback

By | 2023 Newsletter week 42 | No Comments

To increase financial flexibility, DFDS has entered into an agreement with Navigare Capital to sell and leaseback three freight ferries: FLANDRIA SEAWAYS, HUMBRIA SEAWAYS and SCANDIA SEAWAYS.

  • Total sales price of DKK 1.46bn
  • Leasing period 5 years
  • The agreement includes a right of first refusal to purchase the ferries at the end of the leasing period.

FRS sells subsidiary FRS Iberia to DFDS

By | 2023 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

Time to say goodbye to the red dolphin: FRS is separating from the subsidiary FRS Iberia.

In the future, the ferry lines between Spain and Morocco are going to be operated by DFDS.

FRS Iberia/Maroc operates three short-sea ferry routes across the Strait of Gibraltar:

  • Algeciras-Tanger Med
  • Algeciras-Ceuta
  • Tarifa-Tanger Ville

Prognosis for the year 2023:

  • 3 million freight lane metres
  • 9 million passengers
  • 370,000 cars

Actual fleet:

  • 5 high-speed catamarans
  • 2 Ro-Pax
  • 1 Ro-Ro

For DFDS, FRS Iberia/Maroc’s key expected financials for 2023 are revenues of DKK 1.0-1.2bn, EBITDA-margin of 18-20%, and EBIT-margin of 11-12%.

The Iberia business has experienced extraordinary success over the course of two decades, despite strong competition. The company is now one of the market leaders in ferry traffic between Spain and Morocco, with strong expertise in the operation of fast ferries and freight traffic. Within the 14 ferry lines of the FRS Group, FRS Iberia is the strongest pillar.

For the CEO of FRS, Götz Becker, the sale of the Iberia business is an important step for the expansion into new markets and a modernized, low-emission development of the ferry group.


What are the advantages for DFDS?

  • Ferry network expanded to high-growth Strait of Gibraltar market.
  • 8% annual average market growth expected next 5 years.
  • Attractive transaction terms.
  • Ferry infrastructure & operational development opportunities.

For more insights, consult the PowerPoint presentation presented at the conference call for investors.

DFDS: Q2 performance better than expected

By | 2023 Newsletter week 33 | No Comments

Read the Q2 2023 interim click on cover

“We have raised our outlook as we continued to deliver strong operational performance in Q2, and despite headwind in some regions, we achieved a result that was better than expected.”

Torben Carlsen, CEO DFDS

  • Q2 revenue decreased 3.2% to DKK 6.9bn but increased 2.5% adjusted for bunker surcharges, driven by higher passenger and logistics revenue.
  • Freight ferry revenue was below last year as lower volumes were partly offset by higher rates.
  • Q2 EBITDA decreased 5% to DKK 1,404m.
  • The freight ferry EBITDA of DKK 754m was 20% lower than last year as Q2 2022 earnings were boosted by elevated Channel earnings and exceptionally high levels of oil price spreads, that have now normalised. Moreover, Q2 2023 volumes were lower than last year.
  • The Q2 passenger EBITDA increased 28% to DKK 350m as results were improved across the route network.
  • Logistics Division’s EBITDA increased 26% to DKK 345m driven by acquisitions.

For the first half-year (H1), revenue increased 2% to DKK 13.3bn compared to the same period last year and H1 EBITDA increased 5% to DKK 2,413m. EBITDA was DKK 5,090m for the last twelve months (LTM, 2022-23).

 Outlook 2023
The EBITDA outlook is raised to DKK 4.8-5.2bn (previously DKK 4.5-5.0bn) following better than expected H1 financial performance. Revenue is overall still expected to remain at the same level as 2022.

The outlook is detailed on page 9 in the full report.

DFDS July volumes: freight closing in on last year, passengers up 9%

By | 2023 Newsletter week 33 | No Comments

Ferry – freight

  • Total volumes in July 2023 were 7.2% below 2022. Volumes were 4.9% below 2022 adjusted for Channel.
  • North Sea volumes were robust on most routes but a slowdown in Swedish imports and a dip in fresh produce volumes to the UK due to weather conditions reduced overall volumes compared to 2022.
  • Mediterranean’s volumes were below last year as growth is being reduced by measures to curb inflation in Türkiye and European demand is stagnating.
  • Channel volumes were below 2022 which reflects the redistribution of market shares that took place in July 2022 in the wake of a ferry competitor’s suspension of sailings in 2022.
  • Baltic Sea market conditions are starting to become more comparable to 2022 as the war’s impact on volumes did not fully materialise in 2022 until after the summer. July volumes were still below last year.
  • For the last twelve months 2023-22, the total transported freight lane metres decreased 11.0% to 38.8m from 43.6m in 2022-21. The decrease was 4.3% adjusted for Channel.

Ferry – passenger

  • The number of passengers increased 9.3% driven by more passengers on the Channel and Baltic routes. The number of cars were up 3.8% due to primarily more cars on the Channel.
  • For the last twelve months 2023-22, the total number of passengers was 4.4m compared to 2.5m in 2022-21.