Tallink Group revenue doubles to Q1 2022, losses also up

Tallink ferry.
Tallink ferry. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Shipping line Tallink Group has doubled its revenue on year to the first quarter of 2021 (Q1 2021), though the company's losses have risen by nearly 15 percent over that time-frame.

Tallink Group has announced its 2022 Q1 results to the stock exchange Thursday, revealing that the Omicron Covid wave and the beginning of the Ukraine war made their impact known on traveler numbers and confidence, and on prices.

The group's unaudited consolidated revenue in Q1 2022 stood at €106.1 million, a rise of 97.5 percent on year (total revenue in Q1 2021 stood at €53.7 million).

Despite increased passenger numbers and revenue on year, the company's net loss in the first quarter of 2022 still amounted to €40.0 million (compared with a net loss of €34.4 million in Q1 2021). 

The group's unaudited Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in Q1 2022 was -€11.0 million (minus 11 million), compared with -€6.3 million in Q1 2021.

Compared with Q1 2021 fuel costs rose by €17.1 million in Q1 2022.

Commenting on the results, Tallink Group CEO Paavo Nõgene said: "The first quarter is historically our low season and the COVID years have not been an exception in this with the pandemic and restrictions dragging the results down even further over the last few years."

"And if that wasn't enough to impact the results, then this year we can add to the mix also the war in Ukraine and the resulting price increases and traveler confidence issues. It is clear that despite all our efforts over the last years to make our business as lean as possible and extremely tight cost control measures, the external factors we are facing have made it very difficult for us to achieve a desired result in this quarter," Nõgene continued, according to a company press release.

"Whatever strides ahead we managed to make with increased passenger numbers and revenues, were cancelled out by the huge fuel price hike," he continued.

Nõgene added that the company had taken steps in Q1 2022 to cut its losses and also used down-time arising from the surge in Covid numbers accompanying the Omicron strain's appearance to carry out maintenance and repair work on its vessels – this constituted the bulk of its €8.9 million investments in the quarter (cf. €4.2 million in Q1 2021).

The company has also brought forward vessel dockings from fall 2022 to reduce traffic interruptions in Q4 this year, Tallink says.

As to positives in Q2, the company pointed to the lifting of Covid restrictions, which has been followed by maximum-capacity departures in the current month, and also an end in sight to the pandemic.

Tallink Group reported cash and cash equivalents of €101.0 million at the end of the quarter (cf. €14.8 million as at March 31 2021), along with €123.4 million in unused credit lines (cf. €81.7 million as at March 31 2021) and a total liquidity buffer (cash, cash equivalents and unused credit facilities) of €224.4 million (cf. €96.4 million as at March 31 2021).

The company has also repointed two of its vessels – the Romantika has commenced charter work already and the Isabelle is being used for refugee accommodation for at least four months of the year – and says that these and other activities will help to reduce risks and volatility in 2022, a year Tallink says it intends to end with a net profit.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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