British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries) posted $49.1 million in consolidated net earnings for fiscal 2015, a considerable hike when compared to the prior year’s net earnings of $18 million.
“For customers, the direct benefit of the company’s strong financial performance will be realized in the Fourth Performance Term (April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2020), with annual fare increases set at or below projected inflation. This is one full performance term sooner than originally anticipated,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO.
“It’s extremely important that BC Ferries produces strong financial results so that we can fund our $3 billion capital program going forward to replace aging ships, assets and information technology. BC Ferries has to replace one ship per year over the next 12 years beginning with our cable ferry and the three intermediate class ferries,” said Corrigan.
Revenues for the year increased from $800.2 million to $841.1 million, mainly due to higher traffic levels, an increase in other revenue, the impact of fuel surcharges, and higher tariffs, BC Ferries said.
Operating expenses increased from $714.3 million to $722.5 million compared to the year prior.
The $8.2 million increase in fiscal 2015 operating expenses mainly consists of increases in maintenance and depreciation costs. Capital expenditures in the three and twelve months ended March 31, 2015 totalled $48.8 million and $149.8 million, respectively.
For fiscal 2015, these investments include: $69.0 million in vessel upgrades and modifications; $47.6 million in terminal marine structures; $23.5 million in information technology; and $9.7 million in terminal and building upgrades and equipment.
In the last quarter of fiscal 2015, the company’s vehicle traffic was up 5.1 per cent and passenger traffic was up 4.2 per cent.