Finnlines’ Financial Review: January – September 2020

An illustration of the planned hybrid ro-ro vessel (Image Courtesy: Finnlines)

Finnlines Group on Monday (November 9) announced the company’s financial review for the period January to September 2020 and the third quarter of this year.

The company said, the market situation has been difficult in Q3, 2020 however, Finnlines continued resilient work despite losing over 30 per cent in profits.

President and CEO of Finnlines Group, Emanuele Grimaldi said:

“The Finnlines Group’s passenger volume decreased by over 50% and between Finland and Sweden by 70% for January–September 2020 due to the pandemic situation. The Group’s revenue for January–September 2020 was EUR 363.1 million compared to EUR 450.8 million in the corresponding period 2019, which was a decrease of 20%. The result for the reporting period was EUR 54.2 million – a 34% decrease compared to EUR 81.8 million in corresponding period last year. The challenges and uncertainty of the market caused by the global pandemic continued throughout the third quarter and Finnlines’ turnover and profitability has declined significantly compared to previous year due to decreased cargo and passenger volumes.

The Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of slowing down and shipping companies across the world have been facing an exceptional situation that has never occurred before. Despite the losses and difficult times, Finnlines has not laid down any vessels and our services has continued unaltered. Finnlines is a critical player in transporting medicines, food and other commodities to Finnish citizens and furthermore, Finnlines is an important carrier of industrial products, spare parts, machinery and equipment. Finnlines alone transports more than one third of the roughly one million trucks moving over the three main sea bridges, Finland–Estonia, Finland–Sweden and Finland–Germany.

It is important that Governments across Europe, and especially in Finland, the State has acknowledged the importance of maritime transportation and its role to Finland’s economy and to Finland’s security of supply since up to 90% of Finnish exports and 80% of imports are carried by sea. Finnlines’ service operating between Finland and Sweden has not received financial aid from the National Emergency Supply Agency’s EUR 45 million state-aid package in March 2020. Also, the new maritime state-aid of EUR 24.8 million, which has been tendered very recently for the several connections from Finland to Sweden and Estonia by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, Traficom, has been tailor-made for the existing operators and its terms have excluded Finnlines from receiving any state-aid. Finnlines finds the past National Emergency Supply Agency’s EUR 45 million state-aid package and Traficom’s tendering processes distortive, against principles of proportionality and discriminatory. The requirements in Traficom’s invitation to tender are not necessary to fulfil the public service obligation, i.e. to ensure sufficient transport capacity, security of supply and foreign trade transport. The model is also expensive for the society because there are existing capacity available on market terms, without taxpayers’ support, especially between Finland and Sweden to secure the normal transportation of the goods which are necessary for Finland from the security of supply point of view. Alternative ways of support from the State to all strategical shipping companies could be possible, less distortive, more clean, more viable and more sustainable than the present one, such as public covering of standard carriers costs i.e. port costs, seamen costs, shore personnel costs, pension costs and so forth, which could be looked at. Finnlines is available for cooperation in this sense.

Finnlines has been, and continues to be, committed to ensure vital sea freight operations on market terms and continues the same work it has done over 70 years – including investing in most modern and environmentally friendly vessels.

Finnlines has invested considerably in energy efficiency and green technologies during the past years, and furthermore, will invest close to a total of EUR 0.5 billion in state-of-the-art green vessels – in three new ro-ro and two new ro-pax vessels. A series of world’s most ultra green ro-ro vessels are currently in construction and will join the fleet over the next two years. In addition, two eco-efficient Superstar ro-pax vessels are scheduled to start in traffic in 2023. These investments are responding to the demands of society and are part of Finnlines’ strategy to reduce fuel consumption and cut harmful emissions in order to grow with its customers on a sustainable and responsible way.”

Sea News, November 10

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra

Associate Editor, Sea News