DFDS to close Le Havre-Portsmouth service at the end of 2014
Due to continued losses, DFDS has today started consultations with French unions about plans to close the Le Havre-Portsmouth route at the end of 2014. The route is part of DFDS’ business unit France & Mediterranean, the company said in its press release.
The route carried 185,000 passengers and 480,000 lanemetres of freight in 2013 generating revenues of DKK 165m. The route is serviced by a time-chartered ro-pax ship, including crew, which will be redelivered to its owner at the end of 2014.
A number of initiatives to improve the route’s financial performance since the route was taken over from Louis Dreyfus Armateurs in 2012 have had limited effect. Given the unsatisfactory financial results, the measures already taken and the new sulphur emission rules coming into force on 1 January 2015, the route does not have a viable future.
A closure of the route will primarily entail redundancy costs for shore staff which are expected to amount to around DKK 15m and be recognised in the income statement as a special item.
For the DFDS Group, special items for the full-year 2014 are now expected to amount to a cost of DKK 50m from previously a cost of DKK 35m. The Group’s full-year outlook is otherwise unchanged.