DFDS delivers strong growth in 2016 despite UK vote for Brexit
Embargoed until 00:01 (GMT) Wednesday 22 February 2017
- Ferry and logistics operator posts eight per cent increase in revenue for full year in 2016
- Profit before tax was up by 52 per cent, fuelled by strong growth in freight volumes across the company’s UK and European network
Ferry and logistics business DFDS reports no negative impact on volumes from the Brexit effect as it continues to post record earnings.
The company’s annual report for 2016 showed that freight volumes and UK-Continental trade flows are holding up well despite the result of the UK referendum last June. Full-year revenues for the group were up by eight per cent at DKK 13.4bn (£1.56bn), compared with 2015 (adjusted for currency changes and excluding bunker surcharges). Its Shipping Division accounted for £1.08bn of this, up from £1.03bn, driven by a 21 per cent increase in freight volumes. The company also carried 12 per cent more passengers during the year.
Higher earnings for the Shipping Division helped pre-tax profits jump by 52 per cent to DKK 1.6bn, (£182m), compared with last year. Improved earnings on DFDS’ cross-Channel routes from Dover to Calais and Dunkirk accounted for almost half of the increase following the deployment of additional ferry capacity since February 2016 and continued growth in the freight market.
Rising freight volumes in the final quarter of 2016 indicate no impact on cross-border trade between the UK and Europe following the Brexit vote. Across the European route network 17 per cent more freight during this period than at the same time in 2015. Passenger numbers on its routes also increased by six per cent over the same period.
Whilst depreciation of the British pound in the last six months of the year impacted on the full-year result, this was offset by the continued increase in volumes and rates in the freight market. Volume growth was supported by increases in capacity, thanks to the introduction of two new ferries - the Cote de Dunes and the Cote de Flandres - on the Dover to Calais service and the Netherlands on the North Sea.
Kasper Moos, senior vice president for DFDS in the UK, said: “Our earnings increased considerably during 2016, with the vote for Britain to leave the EU having little real impact on volumes. We will continue to monitor developments, however. Thanks to our work to continuously improve our service and to offer customers the capacity they require across our network, we have continued to grow our markets and we’ve posted another year of record financial results. Our pursuit of continuous improvement will continue in 2017, with further investment in our fleet, a focus on bringing digital innovation that benefits our customers, and a drive to further improve customer satisfaction with the services that we provide.”
Looking ahead to 2017, DFDS expects revenues to increase by a further 4 per cent (excluding bunker surcharges) across its ferry and logistics business. With the Bank of England adjusting its growth expectations for the UK economy upwards to 2 per cent, freight volumes, seen as a marker of economic growth, are expected to continue to increase. Moos added: “As a ferry and logistics operator with more than 2,200 employees in the UK, we are at the heart of the ongoing Brexit process and based on trends for the last few months of 2016, we expect to see continued growth in trade.”
The company will invest almost £20m in 2017 to expand capacity and renew its fleet. Two new, large chartered freights ships for its route from Immingham to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, are due for delivery in May and September. The investment programme also includes improvements to passenger and freight facilities on two cruise ferries on the Newcastle-Amsterdam service and on one of its Dover-Calais ships.
Issued by Rooster PR on behalf of DFDS, T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930, E: DFDS@rooster.co.uk
DFDS provides shipping and transport services in Europe, generating annual revenues of £1.6bn.
The company delivers high performance and superior reliability to more than 8,000 freight customers through shipping and port terminal services and transport and logistics solutions. In addition, it provides overnight and short sea ferry services to six million passengers.
7,000 employees are located on ships and in offices in 20 countries. DFDS was founded in 1866 and is headquartered in Copenhagen and listed on the Nasdaq Copenhagen stock exchange.
In the UK, the company operates passenger ferry services on routes from Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk, Newcastle to Amsterdam and Newhaven to Dieppe.
DFDS has been named ‘Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator’ and the ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ at the World Travel Awards for the last six years (2011-16). The company was also named ‘Best Family Ferry Operator’ at the 2016 Family Traveller Awards.
DFDS currently operates up to 54 sailings a day between Dover and France on its Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais routes. DFDS also offers two daily sailings between Newcastle and Amsterdam. In addition, the DFDS network includes a passenger and freight service between Newhaven to Dieppe, which has four daily sailings and is operated by DFDS under a concession run by Transmanche Ferries.
For further information about DFDS, or to find out about the latest sailing times, fares and offers across all routes from the UK, visit www.dfds.co.uk. You can also find out more on Twitter @DFDS_UK and at the company’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/dfdsuk.
Posted on 22/02/2017