Brittany Ferries confirms passenger and freight numbers – and a new ship charter

1st November 2017

• Total freight units carried 213,000, an increase of 4 percent
• Total passengers carried 2,352,000, a drop of 3 percent
• Passenger numbers on long routes (UK-Spain and France to Ireland) 394,000 up 5 percent
• Passenger numbers on channel routes (UK-France) 1,958,000 down 5 percent

As the season draws to a close, Brittany Ferries has today confirmed a 4 percent rise in freight traffic, but a 3 percent drop in overall passenger numbers.

The figures, which cover the period from November ‘16 to October ‘17, present a mixed picture for the business which operates from Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth in the UK. Cross Channel passenger numbers, which comprise 80 percent of the total, fell by 5 percent. Routes to Spain and between France and Ireland reported an increase of 5 percent.

The company’s results point to tougher trading conditions in the wake of the Brexit vote, but also confirmation that the company’s diversification strategy is working.

“There are positive indicators in these results, such as our freight figures, but we can say for sure that Brexit is affecting us commercially and financially,” said Christophe Mathieu Brittany Ferries chief executive officer. “Long routes from the UK to Spain and between France and Ireland have performed well, but passenger traffic from the UK to France has fallen significantly. This is the majority of our business and the downturn comes on both sides of the Channel, so a decline in the number of French visitors coming to the UK too.

“In addition to these challenges our financial results have been affected by the dramatic fall in the value of the pound. Despite this, we remain confident in our diversification strategy. We are also optimistic about the future and are committed to investing in fleet renewal.”

Following a £175 million investment in a new ship called Honfleur, to be delivered in 2019 for the Portsmouth-Caen route, the company has confirmed investment in a second vessel. To be chartered from Stena Line following its construction in China, she will further increase capacity on Spanish routes when delivered ahead of the 2021 season.
The charter will come with more on-board accommodation and a large garage for passenger and freight vehicles. She will replace Baie de Seine and Brittany Ferries will have the option to purchase after the expiry of the initial five year charter.

About Brittany Ferries
Brittany Ferries is a passenger car and freight service operating from eleven ports, linking four countries: UK – France, UK – Spain and Ireland – France. The company was set up by a collective of French farmers as a freight-only operator, running from Roscoff in Brittany to Plymouth with the first crossing taking place on 1 January 1973, the date the United Kingdom joined the EEC (forerunner to the EU).
The aim then was to bring French agricultural products to a wider British market. However, the service quickly developed into an operation carrying hundreds of thousands of British tourists, eager to experience the delights of Brittany and Normandy. Today Brittany Ferries is the market leader on the Western Channel for passengers and for freight. It is also a leading supplier of ferry-inclusive motoring holidays to France and Spain. Further information can be found by visiting:
Christopher Jones on 02392 402 965 or 07917 540 878 or [email protected]
Nigel Wonnacott on 02392 402 943 or 07833 446 729 or [email protected]