Finnlines' Loss Widens As Economy Weakens

Finnlines' Loss Widens As Economy Weakens

Finnlines’ net loss almost doubled in the first quarter as Europe’s deepening economic downturn depressed cargo volumes on its North Sea and Baltic short sea routes.

The Finnish carrier lost 10.9 million euros ($14.4 million), compared with 5.8 million euros ($7.6 million) in the first three months of 2012, on revenue down 7.6 percent at 133.9 million euros ($177 million).

Finnish seaborne imports transported in containers, truck and trailer units declined 5 percent in the quarter, while exports were unchanged from the same period in 2012.

The Helsinki-based carrier, which is owned by Italy’s Grimaldi group, transported 151,000 trucks on 24 owned and chartered ships during the quarter, down from 158,000 a year ago.

The last of six new roll-on, roll-off ships was delivered during the quarter, which will further reduce its dependence on the volatile charter market, the company said.

Finnlines plans to open new North Sea and Baltic freight routes after signing long-term contracts with a paper company and a leading trucker that will improve its results beginning in the second half of the year, but it expects the rest of the year “will still be volatile and challenging.”