BC Ferry Second Quarter Results Reflect Continued Strong Traffic

November 24, 2023


VICTORIABC Ferries‘ net earnings for the three months ended September 30, 2023, were $102.1 million, an increase of $21.7 million over the same quarter the previous year. For the six months ended September 30, 2023, net earnings were $117.3 million compared to net earnings of $88.3 million in the prior year.

In the three months ended September 30, 2023, BC Ferries carried 7.8 million passengers and 3.0 million vehicles, compared to 7.5 million passengers and 3.0 million vehicles in the same period in the prior year. Year-to-date, the company carried 13.6 million passengers and 5.5 million vehicles, an increase of 5 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively, compared to the same period in the prior year, contributing to BC Ferries’ financial performance.

Revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2023, at $381.5 million, was up $38.4 million or 11 per cent over the same period in the prior year primarily as a result of an increase in vehicle and passenger traffic levels, tariff rates, fuel surcharges and retail revenue. Year-to-date, revenue was $668.4 million, up $60.4 million or 10 per cent 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 by $38.4 million or 11 per cent, expenses from operations in the second quarter increased by $20.7 million or 11 per cent to $269.6 million compared to the same period in the prior year mainly due to continued inflationary pressure across all cost categories. Year-to-date, expenses from operations increased $39.2 million or 8 per cent to $530.2 million.

It should be noted that due to the seasonality of ferry travel, BC Ferries typically generates higher net earnings in the first and second quarters (driven by high system utilization), which are subsequently reduced by net losses in the last two quarters of the fiscal year.

“While traffic revenues are strong, like many other transportation companies, BC Ferries continues to experience significant cost pressures,” said Nicolas Jimenez, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “The outlook for year-end remains subject to these cost pressures, variability of economic conditions, and travel demand (which slows in the fall in winter months).”

“As we look to our final two quarters this year, our annual refit season is underway, during which time we’ll make substantial investments in vessels and terminals to maintain high levels of service reliability. We’ll also continue to focus on catching up on multiple years of deferred investments in our people and our infrastructure. This includes our early wage re-opener to provide employees with increases in advance of the timing in the collective agreement, as well as our recent application to the regulator to expand capacity on our minor routes with four new Island Class hybrid electric vessels.”

The company safely delivered over 24,277 round trips from July through September 2023, a 5 per cent increase over the same period in the prior year primarily as a result of the introduction of two-ship service on the Campbell River – Quadra Island route and supplemental summer service on the Buckley Bay – Denman Island route. Over 1,204 new employees joined BC Ferries so far this calendar year, helping to reduce sailing cancellations due to crewing issues from 0.6 per cent to 0.4 per cent.  However, total cancellations are 1.0 per cent of sailings, reflecting an increase in mechanical cancellations during the quarter.

Source: BC Ferries


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