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GOTLAND © Kai Ortel

GOTLAND © Kai Ortel

Gotlandsbolaget 2023 year-end report

FinanceRevenues amounted to SEK 2,366.4 million (2,918.8). The costs amounted to -2,187.6 MSEK (-3,048.2). Revenues and costs during the period are lower than the previous year, mainly as a result of items relating to Stockholms Reparationsvarv and Hansa Destinations, as well as for ships sold during the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023.

Comment Håkan Johansson, CEO of Gotlandsbolaget

"A year marked by economic recovery
We entered 2023 with a historically large loss behind us. 2022 ended with several difficult but necessary decisions, which formed the basis for the economic recovery in 2023. Thanks to stabilized fuel costs, clean cultivation and adjusted ticket prices, we achieved an adjusted operating profit of SEK 161.7 million (-129.4) and turned a loss into a profit.

Both the group's revenue, SEK 2,366.4 million (2,918.8) and costs -SEK 2,187.6 million (-3,048.2) are lower than the previous year, mainly as a result of not operating the line to Rostock and the divestment of ship.

At the end of 2022, Destination Gotland announced an adjustment of ticket prices to meet to some extent the greatly increased costs for fuel. Thanks to stabilized fuel prices during the year, Destination Gotland has had the opportunity to lower average prices during the year.

Gradual change of fuel
In 2022, we switched from LNG to MGO to reduce the financial impact of the explosive increases in fuel, as well as not to buy fuel containing Russian molecules. Unfortunately, this had a negative impact on traffic emissions. Thanks to stabilized fuel prices, we have been able to begin a gradual return to LNG during the year, a work that continues.

Our long-term goal of offering climate-neutral travel by 2045 is firm, but the road there is not without challenges. Among other things, the requirements set by the Swedish Transport Administration in the ongoing procurement are relatively low, which makes large investments in new technology more challenging.

The Gotland traffic - part of our history and future
In August, the Swedish Transport Administration published the procurement documents for the next concession period for the Gotland traffic, 2027-2035. At the time of publication of this report, we have submitted tenders, and believe and hope that we will be given renewed confidence to operate the traffic between Gotland and the mainland.

But even if our main focus is to win the traffic for the upcoming concession period, we are safe in the knowledge that we do not stand or fall on one business. During the 1990s when we didn't have the traffic, we showed our ability to change. We also see great opportunities to operate traffic even at a loss during parts of the year when the need is greatest. The Swedish Transport Administration buys up a basic traffic, of which many departures are those that are not commercially viable. Destination Gotland delivers far more than the traffic procured and we have very good conditions to operate competing traffic in the event of a possible loss of the agreement.

Focus on development and expansion
We have good liquidity, which strengthens our investment ability and our position when we now evaluate investments in ships and real estate, but also new businesses.

The purchase of BIRKA GOTLAND and the venture into cruises in the Baltic Sea that we do together with Viking Line is an exciting and important deal, but for us also a clear signal of our focus on passenger shipping. Shipping, as well as other industries, will have a great need for various fossil-free fuels, and after investing in biogas production on Gotland in 2023, we are looking at more investments in this area. Within our hotel and property operations locally on Gotland, we see exciting opportunities and large investments going forward."

Significant events during the quarter and after the end of the period

  • At the beginning of December, Gotlandsbolaget and Viking Line presented the first plans for the joint cruise venture through the jointly owned company Gotland Alandia Cruises. Premiere cruise with BIRKA GOTLAND is planned for 20 March 2024.
  • Gotlandsbolaget and the Australian shipyard Austal took the next step in February 2024 in the work to develop a high-speed catamaran for the Gotland traffic. A Memorandum of Understanding with the goal of being able to sign an agreement on construction. If a newbuilding contract is entered into, the high-speed catamaran could be delivered in 2027.
  • At the beginning of March, tenders were submitted to the Swedish Transport Administration for the procurement of Gotlandstrafiken 2027-2035. The current agreement is valid until the end of January 2027.

© Shippax

Mar 20 2024

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