State-owned port authority Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam) has reported a 31.8 percent drop in revenue in the second quarter of 2020 (Q2 2020) and losses of €831,000, largely the result of the coronavirus pandemic. The authority invested nearly three times as much in the first half of this year, than in the same period in 2019.
In Q2 2020 Port of Tallinn made a €7.2-million profit.
The port's revenue for Q2 2020 stood at €22.4 million at a time when passenger ferry services ground to a halt as border controls were put in place from mid-March, and not a single cruise ship called in in Tallinn.
The effects were mitigated somewhat by cargo, whose revenues remained largely unchanged through the emergency situation declared March to May as essential supplies continued to move to and from Tallinn.
Port of Tallinn's jurisdiction includes the cargo terminals at Muuga, east of Tallinn, the port of Paldiski, to the west, and on the Kopli peninsula.
Liquid cargo volumes actually increased in the first half of 2020, the port says, compensating for declines in bulk and container shipments.
An increase in fees related to consumer price index (CPI) and wage inflation, and a fall in fuel prices, also partly offset the downturn.
Additionally, revenue from an ice-breaking vessel chartered to Canada were higher than expected as work there started earlier than usual.
Port of Tallinn paid out €30.2 million in shareholder dividends, resulting in a €4.9 million income tax bill, over the period. The payouts were planned before the crisis broke.
No additional vessel from the port's subsidiary TS Laevad, which links Estonia's major islands to the mainland, was ordered for summer as would normally happen, which also had a negative effect on passenger revenues.
The island of Saaremaa was closed to all travelers except permanent residents during much of the emergency situation.
In the first half of 2020, Port of Tallinn invested €17.4 million (€8.6 million of this in Q2 2020), €6.3 million more than in 2019.
Investments were primarily aimed at the recently finished D-Terminal in Tallinn, as well as the start of work on a cruise terminal and dredging work in Paldiski.
Last year, 10.64 million passengers passed via Port of Tallinn facilities, along with 19.9 million tons of cargo.
Editor: Andrew Whyte