More passengers but profits fall at CalMac

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David MacBrayne, parent company of CalMac Ferries, has reported another year of increasing passenger numbers with the total carryings for the group breaking through the 5.5 million barrier for 2017/18.

CalMac Ferries’ passenger numbers jumped by more than 200,000 over the year to 5.3 million while the group’s other ferry operator, Argyll Ferries, carried nearly 300,000 on the Gourock to Dunoon route over the same period. Vehicle traffic increased 5 per cent to 1.4 million while freight increased 1.4 per cent to 940,000 metres carried over the same period.

Revenues climbed £15 million to £210 million delivering a profit of £4 million for the year, down from £5.3 million last year. The drop in profit was down to increased costs in planned and unplanned vessel maintenance.

‘The focus of the past year has been to continue putting customers and communities at the heart of what we do and using our services and influence to actively drive sustainability and economic growth,’ said David MacBrayne’s chairman, David McGibbon.

It was a successful first year of operations for CalMac’s new independent Community Board which seeks to improve communications with local communities and provide greater insight and focus into the type of services that island communities need over the long term.

‘We are continuing to work to improve communication with all our customers including the launch of a new Integrated Operations Communications Centre. This will significantly enhance our ability to respond quickly to customers, with better levels of consistency and frequency during periods of disruption,’ added Mr McGibbon.