Photo credits @ DFDS

DFDS 2024 first quarter: road haulage performs below expectations

Logistics operator DFDS has reported a net loss for the first quarter. However, the company believes it is on track to meet its targets for the year. The ferry segment performed particularly well, while road transport was below expectations.

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The Danish giant reported a net loss of DKK 48 million in the first quarter of this year. This compares with a net profit of DKK 137 million in the same quarter last year.

The company’s revenue, however, increases from DKK 6.3 billion in the first quarter of 2023 to DKK 7 billion in the period under review. EBITDA (i.e. operating profit before taxes and other liabilities) for the first three months of this year fell by 2 per cent compared to the figures for the first quarter of last year and amounted to DKK 957 million.

We are on track to meet our 2024 forecasts, but remain focused on improving profit by increasing operational efficiency across the network, Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS, commented on the results.

2024 is the first year of our new Moving Together Towards 2030 strategy, focusing on unlocking the value of our expanded network through organic growth and moving towards a greener operation. The expansion of our network into high-growth markets culminated in April with the agreement to acquire Ekol Logistics’ international transport network. The transaction is expected to be finalised in Q4 2024 and the newly acquired ferry routes in the Strait of Gibraltar have started successfully, Carlsen added.

As anticipated by the operator, the current market environment remains mixed.

In the first quarter, we saw higher than expected growth in ferry volumes across most of our network, while in our land transport network volumes were mostly flat or lower. Continued overcapacity has increased pricing pressure in some areas of the market,DFDS emphasises.

Revenue from the ferry segment increased by 10 per cent and freight volumes by 8.9 per cent in the period under review compared to Q1 2023. Volumes increased in all business areas reflecting an overall increase in activity across the network compared to a relatively low level in Q1 2023, with the highest growth achieved in the Baltic Sea and Channel networks.

The logistics division also reported a 10 per cent increase in revenue.

The company is betting on green solutions and ordered a further 100 electric lorries earlier this year. At the same time, DFDS has ambitious decarbonisation targets for ferry transport, which include having six green ferries on the water by the end of 2030.