Tallink doubles net profit ({{commentsTotal}})

The revenue of stock-listed Estonian shipping company Tallink grew by 2.6% last year to €945.2m, net profit more than doubled, from €27.3m in 2014 to €59.1m in 2015.

Tallink carried nine million passengers during the year, 1.1% more than the year before. EBITDA increased by 20.5% to a record €181.4m, Tallink Grupp told the stock exchange.

"The increase in the Group's results is mainly attributed to the growth in passenger numbers, higher on-board revenue per passenger, higher charter revenue and lower operating costs. The passenger numbers grew steadily on most routes, and the Group regained market share from its direct competition," the management said in the interim report.

In the fourth quarter of 2015 Tallink carried 2.1 million passengers, 3.6% more than it had in the same period of the previous year. Revenue increased by 1.6% to €227.6m. The group made a net loss of €1.3m in the fourth quarter, owing to one-off costs of €9.5m related to the sale of the fast ferry Superstar, which included book loss and transaction costs.

Tallink sold three vessels last year for €115.4m. The money will mainly be used to repay loans, and for the down payment on the new gas-fueled fast ferry Megastar, which is currently under construction.

On the Estonia-Finland route, the number of passengers increased by 5%, and cargo carriage by 17.9%. On the Finland-Sweden route, passenger numbers grew by 4.1% mostly due to more departures compared to 2014. Cargo units decreased by 26.2% on that route.

Lower global energy prices allowed a smooth switch to more environmentally friendly low sulphur fuel. The previously highlighted risk of increasing fuel costs did not turn into actual fact, the management noted. Following market prices, the group's average fuel spend in 2015 was 5% lower than the year before.

Total annual fuel consumption decreased by 13%, which the management attributed to the optimization of vessel operations as well as changes in the fleet. The lower total fuel consumption and spend resulted in approximately €20m saved on fuel compared to 2014.

The group's net debt decreased in the fourth quarter by €116.3m, now a total of €467.4m. The net debt to EBITDA ratio improved further and was 2.6 at the end of the quarter. Total liquidity at the end of the period was €153.6m, including €82m in cash and equivalents, and €71.6m in unused credit lines. This made for a strong financial position, the management said.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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