Fjord Line surging ahead
“The progress Fjord Line made in 2016 shows that it has become a competitive and profitable ferry company, after major investments and a number of legal battles in 2014 and 2015. In 2016 we were able, however, to focus our complete attention on providing customers with the best possible offer, and this yielded results that we are proud of”, comments CEO Rickard Ternblom in an interview with Ferd Magazine.
Rickard Ternblom is able to point to the company’s profit before tax having improved by nearly NOK 237 million. Traffic growth and higher revenue per passenger caused the company’s revenue to increase by a healthy 29%, while the company’s profits were further strengthened by its greater operational efficiency and lower financial expenses.
Growth for all ships
Rickard Ternblom emphasises that all lines and ferries operated by the company contributed to the growth seen in 2016, with particularly strong progress achieved on the route between Sandefjord and Strömstad.
“We gained access to new sailing times on this route on 1 October 2015, since which point it has been experiencing a wave of success”, he explains.
MS Oslofjord is currently the company's only vessel to operate the route, but Fjord Line is now busy with a preliminary study to identify a potential second vessel. MS Stavangerfjord and MS Bergensfjord, the two environmentally friendly gas-powered cruise ferries that sail the Bergen via Stavanger to Hirtshals and Langesund to Hirtshals routes, have also enjoyed strong traffic growth, to the extent that capacity on these routes has been increased during the high season and weekends.
“Against this backdrop, we have decided to increase our restaurant capacity and to increase the accommodation on each of the ships by around sixty new cabins”, explains the CEO.
Confident of further progress
Kristian Eikre, the Head of Ferd Special Investments, and Håkon Glimstad Kristiansen, Senior Investment Manager at Ferd Capital, have primary responsibility for monitoring Ferd’s investment in Fjord Line, where the group is the second largest shareholder with a 44.6% stake. Both Kristian and Håkon are reasonably satisfied with Fjord Line in 2016, while they are also looking forward to aggressive investment in 2017 to further strengthen its traffic base. Other initiatives that they are looking forward to include stronger collaboration with destinations and organisations involved in the tourism industry with the aim of launching new attractive tour packages, and Fjord Line’s efforts to increase conference cruise traffic, with ‘domestic conferences’ being launched on the route between Bergen and Stavanger.
The entire article is available (in Norwegian) here.