Viking Line reports an exceptional year

2022-01-14T19:46:32+00:00 January 14th, 2022|Finance|

Similar to 2020, last year was an exceptional year for Viking Line, the company revealed.

The operating environment was highly unfavourable, due to the pandemic, as were the economic consequences. At the same time, the company experienced a number of positive events in 2021.

For example, in May ‘Mariella’, one of Viking Line’s seven vessels, was sold and in December, the newbuilding ‘Viking Glory’ was delivered.

The total number of passengers carried by the company last year was 2,315,137, an increase of 20.1% on the 1,927,302 carried in 2020.

The largest increase was seen on the Turku/Åland/Stockholm route, which registered 904,321 passengers (+51.9% on the 2020 total). On the Helsinki/Åland/Stockholm route, the number fell by 11.3% to 153,183. Here, passenger volumes were affected by the ‘Mariella’ sale. The other vessel on the route, ‘Gabriella’, made a number of special cruises to various Finnish destinations.

After a brief appearance on the Turku route, ‘Viking Cinderella’ launched a regular service between Stockholm and Mariehamn on 3rd June and made a number of special cruises to Swedish destinations, carrying a total of 261,010 passengers during the year (+26.2%). The total number of passengers between Mariehamn and Kapellskär on ‘Rosella’ rose by 81.8% to 348,209.

Between the capital cities of Helsinki and Tallinn, ‘Viking XPRS’ carried 591,122 passengers (-21.1%). The decrease was caused by tighter travel restrictions for parts of the year.

The total number of cargo units was 129,278 (+ 2.9%), and the number of cars carried was 442,484 (+24%).

“Given the challenging situation for running operations in an environment where there was no demand at times, due to restrictions and other limitations, we are satisfied with the volumes for the year.

“Passenger numbers on the Turku route are especially gratifying, with Åland – an attractive holiday destination – seeing a significant upturn in Finland. The summer’s special cruises with ‘Viking Cinderella’ were greatly appreciated by our guests.

“In the autumn of 2021, the situation started to normalise, but this trend was interrupted by the new Covid-19 variant and the subsequent tightening of travel restrictions. We are also pleased that there was great demand for space on our car decks, which is reflected in cargo and car volumes,” said Jan Hanses, Viking Line President and CEO.

During the year, construction of the climate-smart ‘Viking Glory’ was completed at the XSI shipyard in Xiamen, China, and on 23rd December, ownership of the vessel was transferred to Viking Line.

On 28th of last month, she began her journey to Turku with a crew of 40. The route was due to proceed via the Suez Canal and the Strait of Gibraltar and the journey was scheduled to take nearly five weeks. She will enter service on 1st March, 2022.

“We look forward to welcoming ‘Viking Glory’ in February in Turku. The vessel will be unique and beautiful – both its interiors and exterior. We already see enormous interest in the vessel, which is gratifying. That gives us faith in the future,” Hanses added.

Viking Line ended the third quarter of 2021 with good liquidity. To further help implement Viking Line’s strategy for continued profitable growth in a post-pandemic environment, a preferential share issue for existing shareholders was undertaken during the autumn, which was a success being oversubscribed.

Initially a total of 8,584,070 shares were subscribed for, which corresponds to about 132.5% of the offer shares. The final number of shares was 6,480,000. As a result, Viking Line generated proceeds of about €51.8 mill.

The offer shares entitle the holders to possible dividend and other distribution of funds, if any, and to other shareholder rights in the company after they have been registered with the Finnish Trade Register and recorded in the company’s shareholder register maintained by Euroclear Finland.

Nordea Bank acted as the sole global co-ordinator and lead manager of the offering, while Hannes Snellman Attorneys acted as the legal advisor.

Following the registration of the 6.480.000 shares, the total number of registered shares in Viking Line is now 17,280,000.