In the shadow of the Brexit, Brittany Ferries’ strategy of diversification has proven successful

By 26 October 20172017 Newsletter week 43

The latest Brittany Ferries report shows the first results after the Brexit referendum.

For the year 2016-2017, Brittany Ferries sees the following trends:

  • The cross-Channel passenger market is dropping (-5%), which is in contrast with the long routes to Ireland and Spain, which see a rise (+5%).
  • All routes together, passenger traffic is down 3%.
  • Freight is performing well, on all routes (+4%). For cross-Channel ferry services this means +2%, and for Spain +14%. The Motorways of the Seas between the UK and Spain has reached the symbolic level of 40,000 freight units.

In its analysis, Brittany Ferries found out that its faithful British repeat customers (members of the Club Voyage) continue to use the ferry services in the same numbers.

However, first time travellers seem to be less attracted by the ferry, and by France as a destination. Chairman Jean-Marc Roué calls for an unprecedented promotional campaign, to make France attractive to more people again.

The Brexit is a challenge, as well as the impact of the current low level of the British Pound, which will strongly impact Brittany Ferries’ future financial results, according to Mr Roué.

Jean-Marc Roué is happy with the strategy of the last ten years, where not all eggs have been put in one basket. The diversity of ferry routes and ships has proven to be the best recipe for stability.

Year 2016-2017 (2015-2016)

Pax cross-Channel: 1,958,000 (2,056,000)(-5%)

Pax long routes: 394,000 (376,000)(+5%)

Pax total: 2,352,000 (2,432,000)(-3%)

Freight units cross-Channel: 173,000 (169,000)(+2%)

Freight units long routes: 40,000 (35,000)(+14%)

Freigh units total: 213,000 (204,000)(+4%)

Photo: ETRETAT in Le Havre © Mike Louagie