Date: 19 February 2018
Ferry operator DFDS has reported another record year for 2017, with the company’s Annual Results released this morning showing an operating profit of DKK 2.7 billion (£321 million*) last year.
Despite ongoing uncertainty caused by Brexit, the company’s operations across Europe continued to grow into the fourth quarter, with a positive consensus looking into 2018 based on recent key indicators.
“Overall, North Sea freight volumes grew by 7% in 2017. In spite of the Brexit issue, and the delayed Brexit agreement between the UK and EU, we see that the UK’s economy is still growing, albeit at a slower pace,” says Niels Smedegaard, CEO & President, DFDS.
“According to the UK government’s official prognosis, growth is expected to continue at just over 1 per cent in 2018. At the moment, we even see an increasing growth in British exports, which also contributes positively to our developments on our ten North Sea routes. Brexit is not what we hoped for, but it does not change our confidence about the future. The official expectation is that the UK economy will keep growing (although at a slower pace), and as the EU economy is also predicted to grow and both parties depend on trade, we are hopeful for the future.”
Operations across Europe continued to grow in Q4 2017, including in the UK – DFDS’ largest market – where export volumes continued to grow at a high rate, while import volume growth slowed due to reduced car imports. Demand for passenger services was stable in Q4 as demand in the UK continued to stabilise.
In 2017, DFDS invested significantly in their digital infrastructure and will increase these investments in 2018, introducing systems for bookings, payments and journey planning, across all devices, including mobile. New apps for freight customers and their drivers were recently introduced to make it easier for them to work with DFDS.
Company revenue is expected to increase around 2% in 2018, excluding acquisitions while investments company-wide are expected to amount to around DKK 1.1bn (£130 million*). Trading in 2018 is expected to remain robust with growth across Europe expected to mitigate the inevitable uncertainty caused by the Brexit negotiations.
To accommodate the expected volume growth over the coming years, DFDS has ordered four new mega ships with a capacity of 475 trailers each for the North Sea traffic. The ships will be delivered from 2019 and onwards from the Jinling Shipyard in China.
“In spite of the challenges Brexit may lead to over the coming years, we can also see opportunities for providing our customers with new, valuable, customs clearance services after Brexit, should customs clearance become necessary,” says Niels Smedegaard.
DFDS is Northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, with a network of around 30 routes and 50 freight and passenger ships.
DFDS prides itself on offering world-class facilities and services and the widest choice of ferry routes into northern Europe.
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’ for eight years running (2012-2019), as well as the ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for the last seven years (2011-18).
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 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, click here.