British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries) announced its third quarter results for fiscal 2005/06 with a net loss of $0.9 million for the three months ended December 31, 2005, compared to a net loss of $4.2 million in the same quarter last year.
Due to the seasonality of ferry travel, BC Ferries generates higher net earnings in the spring and summer quarters, which are subsequently reduced by net losses in the last two quarters of its fiscal year.
“The seasonal downturn in traffic allows us to facilitate extensive vessel maintenance and terminal improvements throughout the fleet,” said BC Ferries’ President & CEO
David L. Hahn. “Investing in our infrastructure to ensure the safety and reliability of our operations continues to be a priority. In this fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2006, 28 of our vessels will undergo refit.”
Third quarter consolidated operating revenues of $126.0 million compare with operating revenues of $122.7 million for the same period last year. Revenues for the nine months ended December 31, 2005, increased $11.9 million over the same period last year. This contributed to net earnings of $74.7 million, an increase of $3.6 million over the equivalent period in 2004.
Despite the introduction of fuel surcharges enabled by the BC Ferry Commissioner, the deferred fuel cost accounts maintained by BC Ferries increased by $4.1 million during this three month period to a total of $20.6 million, as a result of the continuing high cost of fuel.
For the nine months ended December 31, 2005, BC Ferries spent $53.0 million maintaining its fleet and facilities. During the same period, BC Ferries invested
in infrastructure improvements, including $41.5 million in vessel upgrades and modifications, $20.8 million in marine structures
and $6.6 million in terminal and structural upgrades.