In the third quarter of 2018, the total number of passengers carried by ships belonging to AS Tallink Grupp and its subsidiaries increased by 1.2% on year to 2.9 million, according to the group's unaudited financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2018.
Tallink's revenue, meanwhile, increased by €900,000 on year, totalling €283.6 million, while its unaudited net profit declined 3.6% to €46.1 million, according to a company press release.
In the third quarter of 2018, the number of passengers travelling and the number of cargo units transported on Tallink vessels increased in each of the group's geographical segments, however increased fuel costs and decreased charter revenues have led to a slightly reduced profit compared to the same period in 2017.
According to Tallink's unaudited 9-month interim statement, the group carried a total of 7.5 million passengers in the first nine months of 2018, which is approximately 70,000 more than during the same period last year. Tallink earned a €41.8 million net profit in the first nine months of the year, a decrease of €3.6 million on year. The group's unaudited revenue for the same period likewise decreased, by 1.5% on year to €723.2 million.
CEO: Passenger numbers good in highly competitive market
"Tallink Grupp's core operations developed positively in the third quarter this year," CEO Paavo Nõgene said, commenting on the results. "The operating profits of our vessels and hotels increased in the third quarter, but the result was affected by lower charter revenues this year due to the sale of the two Superfast vessels."
According to Nõgene, Tallink has continued to grow the number of passengers travelling with them as well as the number of cargo units transported on the group's vessels both in the third quarter as well as in the first nine months of the year. "What's more, in both June and July this year, we reported transporting the highest numbers of passengers ever for both of these months," he highlighted. "This is a good result in highly competitive transport and tourism markets."
The company transports the largest numbers of passengers on its Estonia-Finland routes, which saw 3.9 million passengers transported in the first nine months of 2018, a 1.6% increase on year. Estonia-Finland is also its most popular cargo route, on which Tallinn transported more than 184,000 units of cargo in the first nine months of the year, indicating an increase of 7.3% on year.
The greatest increases in both passenger as well as cargo unit numbers, however, took place on Tallink's Latvia-Sweden route, with passenger numbers increasing by 8% to over 623,000 and cargo unit numbers by 34.5% to over 11,000 in the first nine months of 2018.
"Our cargo business has continued to grow steadily in the first nine months of the year, with a combined increase of 7.4% in the number of units transported across all our routes," Nõgene observed. "In order to ensure that we continue to grow this part of our business in the future as well, we need to continuously develop our offering to our cargo customers as well as continue to offer them an efficient and quality service."
Despite these positive developments, the CEO noted that a combination of significantly increased fuel prices, lower charter revenues, sharp competition and a longer than planned docking of one of its vessels in the first quarter of 2018 have resulted in a slightly smaller net profit over the first nine months of 2018 than during the same period last year. "Based on this, we have some work to do for the rest of the year, and will continue with our efforts to achieve the best possible results for this financial year," he concluded.
Editor: Aili Vahtla