Following its AGM, Brittany Ferries publishes annual results

14th March 2023

Following its AGM last Friday 10th March 2023, Brittany Ferries today publishes passenger, freight and financial results, covering its financial year November 2021 to October 2022.

Following its AGM last Friday 10th March 2023, Brittany Ferries today publishes passenger, freight and financial results, covering its financial year November 2021 to October 2022.

Looking ahead, the company remains confident. Bookings are up by 23% so far this year pointing to a recovery towards pre-Covid business volumes. The entire Brittany Ferries fleet of 10 mixed passenger-freight ships will be deployed from the end of this month.

Passenger traffic growth on long-distance routes

Last year, the company carried 1.84 million passengers on all routes, nearly four times as many as were carried in the preceding year (545,000). However, this was still 26% down on the last pre-Covid comparison year. That year – 2018-2019 – nearly 2.5 million passengers travelled across Brittany Ferries’ network (see table below).

Passenger traffic showed stronger results on long-haul routes: those connecting the UK with Spain, France with Ireland and Ireland with Spain. The Irish market recorded particularly strong passenger growth with a 48% increase in volumes carried compared with 2018-2019.

This was in part due to the expansion of Brittany Ferries’ routes connecting France and Ireland, as well as increased frequency on Roscoff to Cork route and the opening of the Cherbourg to Rosslare route to passengers, having previously operated in freight-only mode.

PASSENGER TRAFFIC 2018-2019 2021-2022 %
Roscoff – Plymouth 328,133 214,464 -35%
St Malo – Portsmouth 325,198 255,198 -22%
Cherbourg – Poole 207 831 140,975 -32%
Cherbourg – Portsmouth 143,506 60,972 -58%
Caen – Portsmouth 914,380 671,179 -27%
Le Havre  – Portsmouth 157,814 8,381 -95%
TOTAL Channel 2,076,862 1 351,169 -35%
Ireland –  France / Spain 120,193 177,495 48%
UK – Spain 301,299 308,461 2%
TOTAL all routes 2,498,354 1,837,125 -26%


Good freight performance on Irish routes, but decline on the Channel

Freight volumes reached 167,711 units last year, well down on pre-Covid and pre-Brexit volumes. This reduction was largely attributable to reduced volumes on Channel routes, but once again, Ireland stood out in terms of growth for the year. This was largely a consequence of trade flows shifting due to Brexit, as hauliers sought alternatives to the UK landbridge when transporting goods between mainland Europe and Ireland.

FREIGHT TRAFFIC 2018-2019 2021-2022 %
Roscoff – Plymouth 4,787 1,381 -71 %
St Malo – Portsmouth 9,450 6,537 -31%
Cherbourg – Poole 19,499 5,207 -73 %
Cherbourg – Portsmouth 313 2,168 593 %
Caen – Portsmouth 101,220 86,089 -15 %
Le Havre  – Portsmouth 23,255 13,994 -40 %
TOTAL Channel 158,524 115,376 -27 %
Ireland France / Spain 6,377 23,717 272 %
UK – Espagne 36,653 28,618 -22 %
TOTAL all routes 201 554 167,711 -17 %


Positive performance and a new ferry

Brittany Ferries reported a profit of €22.6M, with a total turnover of €444,7 M last year. This was more than double the preceding year’s turnover of €202.4 M and just €22M shy of turnover recorded in the 2018-2019 financial year (the last pre-Brexit and Covid financial year).

Notable events included the arrival of the company’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled ship, Salamanca. Brittany Ferries also continued to push forward its multimodal sea-rail project connecting Cherbourg and Bayonne by rail. This unaccompanied-freight service is due to open for business in 2024.

Contributing to economic wealth

Brittany Ferries continues to be a significant wealth generator of the regions it serves. While tourist traffic was significantly lower than before Covid, the company still carried almost 800,000 visitors to France last year.

In total 789 000 individuals came by ferry from the UK and Ireland. They spent 9.1 million bed nights in the Hexagon, spending a total of €815M. In terms of regional split, Brittany and Normandy were the biggest benefactors (see table below)

Region Unique visitors Bed nights Total Spend
Brittany 206,000 2.4 million €212 M
Normandy 146,000 2.6 million €231 M
Pays de la Loire 122,000 1.4 million €121 M
Nouvelle Aquitaine 166,000 1.2 million €107 M


French flagged ships and French crew:

A commitment to French seafarers and the French flag has been part of Brittany Ferries’ DNA since its creation 50 years ago. At the outset of the Covid crisis, Brittany Ferries made a pledge to protect employment.

Today it is proud to have kept this promise to employees and remains the largest employer of French seafarers with all-French flagged vessels. In the high season last year a total of 2,768 people were employed by Brittany Ferries in all four markets. This included 1,872 seafarers, more than two thirds of that total.

Fleet Renewal

Salamanca joined the Brittany Ferries family in March 2022. She was the second in a series of five new vessels to join the fleet, in the period spanning 2019 to 2025.  It’s all part of the biggest ship renewal programme in Brittany Ferries’ 50-year history, a multi-million-euro investment in a more sustainable future. She was the company’s first vessel to be powered by LNG – followed by Santoña in March 2023.

LNG is cleaner than diesel fuel. Virtually no air quality emissions like soot, sulphur or nitrogen dioxide are emitted from the funnel following combustion. Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) are also up to 20% lower than for diesel fuel.


Press contacts:

Nigel Wonnacott  [email protected]
Christopher Jones  [email protected]

About Brittany Ferries:

Brittany Ferries was conceived in 1972, starting life as a freight-only service on 2nd January the following year. The first ferry (Kerisnel) linked Roscoff in Brittany with Plymouth in the south of England and carried a cargo of cauliflowers and cognac. Since then, the company has progressively launched, then strengthened its shipping routes. This year, Brittany Ferries celebrates 50 years at sea. Millions of passengers and businesses transporting goods by sea across the so-called Atlantic Arc (France, UK, Spain and Ireland) rely on the links forged over the decades. In addition to cutting congestion and emissions on busy roads, these motorways-of the sea have helped enrich local communities, creating jobs, nurturing international tourism.

More details here:

Key figures:

  • Turnover: €444.7 million last year compared with €469 million in 2018-19.
  • Fleet renewal: Four new LNG-powered vessels to join the fleet (2022-2025) including two LNG-hybrids
  • Employment: Around 2,500 employees, including 1,600 seafarers (full-time equivalent)
  • Passengers: 1.84 million compared with 2.5 million in 2018-19
  • Freight: 167,711 units last year versus 201,554 in 2018-19
  • 12 ships connecting France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland, via 14 maritime routes
  • 12 ports: Roscoff, Saint-Malo, Cherbourg, Caen, Le Havre, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Poole, Cork, Rosslare, Santander, Bilbao.


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