Stena Line has reported record passenger number on its Harwich service to the Hook of Holland.
The North Sea operator says it carried more passengers and cars on the service in the first six months of 2012 that in any first-half period since it was launched five years ago.
Half year results for the operator showed an increase in overall number of passengers across the North Sea in the January-June period of 1.9% and number of cars of 1.7%.
This equated to a year-on-year increase of 4,000 passengers and 800 cars.
The company said it achieved particularly strong results in the rail and sail ‘dutchflyer’ sector, where it increased numbers by 7%. In the second quarter along ‘dutchflyer’ passenger business grew 11%.
The second quarter did see a marginal 0.7% reduction in passenger numbers while car numbers were up 0.6%. The operator described this performance as ‘stable’.
Lars Olsson, Stena Line’s general manager for travel on the North Sea, said: “Stena Line is very pleased to see efforts to sustain growth on the North Sea route to Holland paying off.
We’re acutely aware of the difficult market conditions and have worked smartly to strengthen demand, despite the context of a slip into the UK’s first double-dip recession since the 1970s.
“We invested more than £375 million in our new North Sea Superferries in 2010 so continued growth is of paramount importance.
“Stena Line expects the sea transport sector to remain volatile throughout 2012 so will redouble its efforts, notably around the 50th anniversary of the company’s founding, this September.”
Stena Line operates twice-daily six-hour return crossings between Harwich and the Hook of Holland.