VICTORIA – British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries) released its first quarter results today. Net earnings for the first three months ended June 30, 2014 (the first quarter of fiscal 2015) were $13.9 million, compared to net earnings of $4.3 million in the first quarter of the previous year. These earnings reflect the effects of increased fares, higher ferry transportation fees, fuel surcharges and lower financing costs, partially offset by lower traffic levels, lower social program fees and operating cost increases.
In the first quarter of fiscal 2015, revenues increased by 6.6 per cent to $213.1 million, while operating expenses increased by 2.1 per cent to $182.5 million, compared to the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.
Capital expenditures for the three months ended June 30, 2014 totalled $26.1 million as follows:
• $8.5 million in vessel upgrades and modifications
• $10.8 million in terminal marine structures
• $5.2 million in information technology
• $1.6 million in terminal and building upgrades and equipment
“We continue to focus on fare affordability for our customers, keeping costs down below previously planned levels wherever possible without compromising safety,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “In addition to achieving targeted savings, our catering and retail services, the drop trailer business and BC Ferries Vacations are all showing strong results, which help to improve our bottom line.”
During the three months ended June 30, 2014, BC Ferries provided over 43,000 sailings, as compared to almost 46,000 sailings during the same quarter last year, carrying five million passengers and two million vehicles. Across the system, vehicle traffic decreased 0.4 per cent while passenger traffic increased 0.3 per cent, as compared to the same quarter last year.
On April 28, 2014, after six weeks of community consultation, feedback and further analysis of schedule refinement options, BC Ferries implemented new schedules for the Northern and regulated Other Routes to achieve a net savings of $14 million over the remainder of performance term three (PT3), which ends March 31, 2016. These new schedules relate to the service reductions determined by the Province in order to better align service levels with demand, and to ensure the coastal ferry system is affordable, efficient and sustainable.