With the 2014 financial year now documented, there are three things in particular that together demonstrate that we’re ta- king our history with us into the future. Firstly, the company celebrated its 150th year of operations. After a century and a half, 2015 will be a year of celebration in which we highlight our unique history and its significance for the development of Gotland.
Secondly, in 2014 Destination Gotland signed an agreement with the Swedish Transport Administration to continue its services until January 2027. This new agreement enables longterm planning and the continued development of processes and organisational structures to tackle the new challenges presen- ted by the agreement.
Thirdly, a newbuilding contract for a new passenger ferry for the Gotland service was signed with the GSI shipyard in China. The ship represents the company’s single biggest investment ever and will result in more efficient service patterns compa- red with the smaller HSC ferries it replaces. The ship is able to run on LNG (liquefied natural gas), which reduces carbon dioxide emissions by roughly 20 per cent compared with pre- vious vessels.
Destination Gotland made a loss after financial items of SEK 18 million during the financial year compared to a profit of SEK 67 million the year before. This is the company’s first loss since 2005 and comes despite growing passenger volumes. The up- coming agreement, which will be in effect from 2017 onwards, represents a significant increase in operational risks, in turn requiring even more extensive adjustments to the business.
Destination Gotland’s loss was offset by positive earnings ef- fects in the Group, including capital gains from the sale of ves- sels and positive currency effects. Foreign exchange earnings are largely the accounting effects of procured investment cur- rency in dollars before the signing of the newbuilding contract for the Gotland service, which evens out over time, and is not an effect of currency speculations.
The product tanker market remained weak during the first three quarters of 2014. Earnings during the final months of the year increased as a result of major changes in the oil market.
With 150 years of collective experience and knowledge, we are developing our business to face the challenges ahead.
Thank you to all of our employees, past and present, who together make up the company’s history, and special thanks for your efforts over the past year that strengthen us going forwards.