Vehicle and passenger traffic, revenue and net earnings were all higher for BC Ferries in its most recent quarter compared to the same periods in the prior year, according to data released in late November.
For the six months ending Sept. 30, 2022, 5.4 million vehicles were carried, up 4% over the 5.2 million vehicles in the same period in fiscal 2020, pre-COVID.
“As a result of our employees’ commitment to our customers and communities, we hit a new record for vehicle traffic levels and delivered 1,700 more round trips during the first half of the fiscal year,” Jill Sharland, BC Ferries’ Interim President and CEO, said. “Our service is an integral part of British Columbia’s transportation system.”
In the three months ending Sept. 30, 2022, BC Ferries carried 7.5 million passengers and 3.0 million vehicles, compared to 7.0 million passengers and 3.0 million vehicles in the same period in the prior year, data show.
Year-to-date, the company carried 12.9 million passengers and 5.4 million vehicles, an increase of 28% and 15%, respectively, compared to the same period in the prior year, primarily as a result of travel restrictions being in place through most of the first quarter in the prior year.
BC Ferries’ net earnings for the three months ending Sept. 30, 2022, were $80.4 million, consistent with the same quarter the previous year. Year-to-date from April 1, 2022, net earnings were $88.3 million compared to net earnings of $84.6 million in the prior year, according to the company.
Revenue for the three months ending Sept. 30, 2022, at $343.1 million, was up $26.3 million over the same period in the prior year primarily as a result of higher passenger traffic volumes, net retail sales, ferry transportation fees and fuel surcharges, BC Ferries data show.
Year-to-date, revenue was $608.0 million, up $62.0 million over the same period in the prior year primarily as a result of higher traffic volumes, net retail sales and fuel surcharges.
The company said that new fare choices, including advance purchase saver fares are contributing to increased vehicle traffic on traditionally lower utilized sailings and fewer sailing waits overall. Since March 2021, according to BC Ferries, over 1 million customers have taken advantage of saver fares.
During the three months ending Sept. 30, 2022, expenses from operations increased by $25.6 million or 11% to $248.9 million compared to the same period in the prior year.
“Year-to-date, expenses from operations increased $56.9 million or 13 per cent to $491.0 million, mainly due to an increased number of sailings, and corresponding higher labor costs and fuel consumption, as well as higher fuel costs and higher depreciation,” the company explained in a statement.
Capital expenditures in the three- and six months ending Sept.30, 2022 totaled $22.4 million and $48.9 million respectively, and included investments in existing ships, hardware upgrades and various other projects, BC Ferries said.