BC Ferries enjoyed consolidated net earnings of C$52.2 million (US$39.56 million) for fiscal year 2019, compared to consolidated net earnings of C$59.9 million (US$45 million) for fiscal 2018, the company said in a statement.
The company said that this year, it experienced its highest vehicle traffic levels ever and passenger traffic levels were the second highest in its history, with increases of 1.9 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively, over the prior year.
To accommodate the higher traffic volumes, an additional 877 round trips were provided throughout the system over the previous year as well as 3,281 more round trips over and above what was required under the Coastal Ferry Services Contract.
During FY2019, BC Ferries also re-introduced the upgraded Spirit of British Columbia into service and implemented a new reservation system. The company claims these actions resulted in an increase in labour, fuel consumption, and training-related costs partially offset by the lower cost reflecting the upgraded vessel's consumption of LNG rather than marine diesel.
The increase in operating expenses also included the impact of higher marine diesel prices, wage rate increases in accordance with the Collective Agreement, and higher depreciation. As a result, total operating expenses increased from C$784.3 million (US$594 million) in FY2018 to C$820.7 million (US$622 million) in FY2019.