Monday, November 29, 2021

BC Ferries realizes increased revenues with passenger loads among highest company has experienced

With a return to more normal travel opportunities over the summer, BC Ferries has found that travellers were anxious to get from point A to point B aboard their many routes from north to south along the BC coast.

In a Second quarter results advisory this month, the Ferry Corporation noted that for the the three and six month period ended September 30th vehicle traffic had returned to the system in record numbers.

In the three months ended September 30, 2021, BC Ferries carried 7.0 million passengers and 3.0 million vehicles, an increase of 28 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, compared to the same period in the prior year. 

When comparing the three months ended September 30, 2021 to the same period in 2019, a pre-COVID-19 time, passenger traffic decreased nine per cent, while vehicle traffic increased by three per cent, representing the highest vehicle traffic levels BC Ferries has experienced in any quarter.

The Ferry Corporation noted of reduced Public Health orders and the introduction of fare options for passengers that spurred on the summer rush for transit to their destinations.

BC Ferries’ net earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 were $79.9 million, $42.1 million higher than the same quarter the previous year. Year-to-date since April 1, 2021, net earnings were $84.6 million, compared to net losses of $24.2 million in the prior year. 

 Revenue for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, at $316.8 million, was up $69.2 million over the same period in the prior year. Year-to-date since April 1, 2021, revenue was $546.0 million, up $161.0 million over the same period in the prior year. During the three months ended September 30, 2021, expenses from operations increased by $28.0 million or 14.3 per cent to $223.3 million compared to the same period in the prior year. 

Year-to-date since April 1, 2021, expenses from operations increased $55.1 million or 14.5 per cent to $434.1 million, mainly due to staffing level changes and greater fuel consumption for a higher number of round trips provided, as well as increases in traffic control and security costs.

BC Ferries President and CEO Mark Collins observed on the strong summer results, but also added caution owing to the season nature of the service and ridership levels.

“We were pleased to see strong traffic levels this quarter, but we remain cautious about what the future will bring. Summer is our high season so it’s challenging to predict with any certainty when conditions will return to pre-pandemic levels for the longer-term. 

Due to the seasonality of ferry travel, we usually see positive net earnings in the first half of the fiscal year, partially offset by net losses in the remainder of the year when traffic is low and routine vessel maintenance is scheduled,. BC Ferries must continue to invest in the ferry system to ensure we have a sustainable, reliable and affordable coastal ferry service for British Columbians.”

The report which you can review here, also makes note of the Safe Restart Funding from 2020 which had a significant impact on the financial picture of the year.  

The report however does not include a breakdown of the ridership levels on the southern or northern routes.  So no comparison from 2021 to 2020 is available for the local routes.

The Northern Expedition on its way to Dock in Prince Rupert

In the North, the season was impacted by required repairs to the Northern Expedition just as the peak travel season was arriving. 

As well the service has seen challenges continue into this fall as the routes of the North Coast in and out of Prince Rupert have been affected by ongoing weather events resulting in delayed or cancelled sailings.

More notes on BC Ferries and other marine transportation on the North Coast can be reviewed here.

No comments:

Post a Comment