Cross-Solent ferry operator Wightlink saw a £30million drop in turnover during the COVID pandemic, but still made a £4million pre-tax profit – according to the latest figures from the company’s accounts.
It has been revealed that the company, which operates on 3 routes to and from the Isle of Wight, generated £38.4million in revenue during the financial year ending March 2021 – that was a fall of £30million compared to the previous year.
Despite this 43% reduction in turnover and an operating loss of £3.7million, the company has filed a £4million profit before taxation.
Business interruption insurance helped save the day for Wightlink, with insurers paying out in excess of £9million. A total of £6.4million in Government grants – £4.5million for furlough and £1.9million from the Department for Transport – also helped to bolster Wightlink’s position during the depths of the pandemic.
Official figures show a dramatic 57% fall in passenger numbers from 4.5million to 1.9million, with the number of sailings operated also falling from 41,834 to 19,429 – a 53% reduction.
The company’s strategic report states that Wightlink ended the financial year in a ‘satisfactory’ position given the challenging events of the year. Its net assets are now worth a whopping £132million.
Competitor ferry operator Red Funnel reported losing £24.7million as a result of COVID, as previously reported by Island Echo.
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