Lighthouse Fast Ferry Reports Record Results
Lighthouse Fast Ferry, Inc. reported record sales results for the fourth quarter and twelve months ended December 31, 2001. For the year-ended December 31, 2001, total revenue increased 10% to a record $4.4 million from $4.1 million for the prior-year period in 2000. Passenger ticket sales jumped nearly 16% to $3.9 million from $3.4 million in the prior-year period, reflecting increased rider-ship at the company's Highlands, New Jersey site, where total annual rider-ship rose 6% to 297,775 passengers. Immediate demand for the company's latest Keyport, New Jersey service, which commenced on October 15, 2001, also contributed to sales, with a rider-ship of 24,693 passengers at year-end 2001.
Corresponding with overall increased rider-ship, galley sales increased nearly 9% to $234,577 compared with $215,790 in the prior-year period. Charter sales contributed $156,437 to total year-end revenue compared with $431,841 in 2000, which were unusually high because OpSail 2000 was held over the extra-long four-day July 4th holiday week-end, where the company increased nearly fourfold its scheduled holiday excursion trips into and around Manhattan and the New York Harbor. Net loss for the 2001 year-end was nearly $11.8 million, or $(1.16) per diluted share, from net loss of $5.0 million, or $(0.79) per diluted share for the prior-year period, primarily reflecting an increase in cost of operations, costs associated with thedevelopment of new ferry sites and limited operation in the wake of September 11.
Anthony Cappaze, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "2001 was a year of remarkable achievement for Lighthouse Fast Ferry, marked by record sales and operational milestones. As evidenced by our year-end revenue, we are rapidly gaining traction as commuters increasingly recognize the intrinsic value of commuting via fast ferries.
"We carved even deeper inroads into the market with our recently opened Keyport site. In addition, we are on schedule to commence service out of Perth Amboy by Fall 2002, where we have a 20-year lease with the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency (PARA), with exclusive access to a seven-acre waterfront site to provide service from Perth Amboy to Manhattan. The site will initially provide up to 460 parking spaces with room for expansion as rider-ship increases. The company projects an annual rider-ship of about 275,000 passengers in the first year of operations, growing to about 400,000 annual passenger trips within two years. Moreover, PARA has agreed to sponsor $14 million in tax-free municipal bonds, which will be used for the development of the facilities and the acquisition of two ferry vessels.
"In addition, we are aggressively pursuing the tremendous opportunities we see in existing and new regions. We are confident in expanding service to Stamford and Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Manhattan, LaGuardia Airport and Jersey City, New Jersey, beginning in 2003, with an anticipated initial annual rider-ship from these new locations of approximately 300,000 passengers.
"Overall, we successfully built a solid foundation in 2001 for greater future growth in 2002 and beyond. While accomplishing expansion milestones in the New York Region, we are also exploring opportunities for our long-term objective of expanding service to other U.S. Coastal regions."