Viking Line's bunker costs jump 18.3% in 2017

Ferry operator notes that bunker prices this year "are expected to be higher than in 2017".

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Updated on 16 Feb 2018 13:39 GMT

Finland's Viking Line has announced in its year-end report that bunker expenses increased by EUR 7.2 million, or 18.3 percent, to EUR 46 million in 2017, up from the previous year's figure of 39.5 million.

As previously reported, bunker costs during the first six months (H1) of last year had amounted to EUR 23.2 million - an increase of EUR 4.4 million, or 23.3 percent, on the EUR 18.8 million figure recorded in H1 2016.

The ferry operator explained on Thursday that, in order to partly offset the risk of higher bunker prices, it had entered into fixed-price agreements relating to a portion of its bunker consumption during 2017.

Viking Line also noted that, in 2018, "bunker prices are expected to be higher than in 2017".

Financial results

In its results for the year, Viking Line posted a year-on-year (YoY) decline in consolidated income after tax of EUR 2.7 million, or 33.8 percent, to EUR 5.3 million.

Consolidated sales were up EUR 3.1 million, or 0.6 percent, to EUR 522.7 million.

Operating income was EUR 10.0 million, down 27 percent from EUR 13.7 million in 2016.

Looking ahead, the company said: "During the spring of 2018, a change in the organizational structure will be implemented, with the objective of focusing on results and commercial matters while simplifying both the Group's way of working and organization. This change is expected to have a positive effect on the Group's results."

Bunker-saving measures

During the course of 2017, Viking Line signed an agreement with Norsepower to install its Rotor Sail Solution technology on board its LNG-fuelled cruise ferry, the Viking Grace.

Norsepower's technology has already been used in a commercial environment, with two small units of Norsepower's rotor sails installed on board Bore's ro-ro carrier M/S Estraden. The solution is said to have delivered fuel consumption reductions of 6.1 percent for the vessel.

Back in October, it was announced that ABB's Azipod propulsion system is to be installed aboard a new LNG-powered Viking Line ferry which CEO, Jan Hanses, said will be "the most efficient cruise ferry operating in the Baltic, if not the world".

Furthermore, in December, Bunker Index featured comments made by Viking Line's Kari Granberg, who stated that fuel consumption on the LNG-fuelled Viking Grace was 20 to 25 percent lower than what the company had expected.