Copenhagen-based logistics major, DFDS reported a freight revenue increase of 5% to DKK3.7 bill in the first quarter of this year, while passenger revenue decreased by 72% to DKK0.1 bill.
Total revenue decreased 1% to DKK3.8 bill.
Freight EBITDA before special items increased by DKK165 mill or 25% to DKK836 mill, while the passenger EBITDA decreased by DKK42m to a negative DKK93 mill.
Total EBITDA increased 23% to DKK750 mill.
The improved freight ferry and logistics activities result was mainly driven by the Mediterranean business unit and activities linked to the Brexit transition.
Tight passenger travel restrictions were in place throughout 1Q21 and passenger volumes remained subdued in the quarter.
Passenger services are provided in three business units – Passenger, Channel and Baltic Sea.
The EBITDA outlook for 2021 was raised on 23rd April, 2021 following stronger than expected freight results for most business units.
Revenue is still expected to grow by 20-25%, while the range for EBITDA before special items was raised to DKK3.2-3.6 bill from the previous DKK3.0-3.5 bill (2020= DKK2.7 bill).
Uncertainty remains high and significant changes to outlook assumptions may still occur in the rest of the year, DFDS warned.
Trade volumes in the first two months of 1Q21 between the EU and the UK were as expected below last year, reflecting the extensive UK stock-building in 4Q20 and implementation of the new rules and processes of the trade agreement between the EU and the UK.
Implementation of the new agreement initially led to a slowdown in trade which increased turnaround times for transport equipment. This in turn led to a shortage of equipment in the market.
Freight volumes began to recover from around March and turnaround times for equipment has to a large extent now normalised.
The European ferry travel market remained as expected subdued in 1Q21, due to the tight travel restrictions that were in place throughout the quarter.