Passengers and freight transporter Finnlines has posted improved second-quarter results, defying an economic downturn in Finland.
Although the Grimaldi Group subsidiary’s second-quarter revenue slipped 5.6% to EUR135.3 million (USD149 million), its profit climbed to EUR15.8 million, up 7.3% or EUR1.1 million on the same quarter last year.
Finnlines described the result as its best second quarter in a decade.
First-half figures followed a similar trend, with revenue down 6.7% y/y to EUR252 million, while profit climbed 9.2% year on year to EUR16.4 million.
Earnings per share rose to EUR0.32 (up from EUR0.29) and debt was down by EUR50.8 million to EUR590.1 million.
The company is also nearing completion of its EUR100 million Environmental Technology Investment Programme (ETIP) to install scrubbers, re-blade propellers, improve rudder dynamics, and apply silicon paint on its fleet.
CEO Emmanuele Grimaldi described the second-quarter performance as “a strong indication that we have proactively taken the right measures to consolidate our market position”.
The company has adjusted its operations to become more cost efficient and competitive in the current recessionary Finnish business climate, he added.
“Moreover, Finnlines is focusing on strengthening its long-term strategic position by acquiring three vessels and further investing in environmental technology,” said Grimaldi. “We expect our profitability to improve over the previous year as [ETIP] enables us to use cheaper IFO fuel compared to MGO.”
From the start of this year, the Baltic Environmental Control Area (ECA) has imposed a 0.1 sulphur cap or the use of emissions abatement technology.
Under the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) regulation, Finnlines and its affiliates were awarded EUR17.9 million “for environmental upgrading and sustaining the competitiveness for three of its major liner services”, which qualify under the Motorways of the Seas programme for all its 22 ships.