P&O Ferries profits up tenfold after rivals closure

P&O Ferries profits up tenfold after rivals closure

The closure of Eurotunnel-owned MyFerryLink helped boost P&O Ferries profits tenfold with a jump in passenger carryings and freight volumes, according to its latest accounts.

The company – which runs vessels between the UK, Ireland and the Continent as well as transport across Europe in its Ferrymasters logistics division – recorded sales of £936 million in the year to December 31, 2015, down slightly on £943 million the previous year.

However, lower costs and expenses meant pre-tax profits soared from £2.2 million to £26.8 million.

The tourist market on the Dover-Calais route suffered from a market contraction, but was “able to drive revenue growth through increases in tourist yield”.

The ferry firm added that it was seeing strong advance booking on its tourist business on North Sea roures. The sector has also benefited from fuel efficiencies which have ‘driven significant savings in consumption’.

The company last year saw the departure of MyFerryLink, which was ordered by the Competition and Markets Authority to stop running cross-Channel ferries.

It means just P&O and DFDS now operate short sea services from Dover. A spokesman for P&O Ferries told The Mail on Sunday: “We always said we don’t mind competition so long as it’s fair.

“The business has really turned around compared with previous years and we’re very much looking forward to building on that performance this year.”

The Brexit vote was said to have so far had “little impact” on the company. The spokesman said the company was still waiting to see the effects of the fall in sterling.

Its route between Tilbury and Zeebrugge proved especially popular last year and the company is currently doubling the capacity of its Zeebrugge terminal.

The expansion was announced several weeks after the referendum vote and is aimed at meeting increased demand from exporters to the UK.

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