MacBrayne revenue rises to £195m

Passenger numbers and revenue increased over the past year at ferry operator David MacBrayne Ltd (DML), according to the company’s annual report and accounts.

DML has a fleet of 35 vessels servicing 26 islands and mainland locations and is the parent company of CalMac Ferries Ltd, Argyll Ferries Ltd and Solent Gateway Ltd.

The company posted a profit before tax of £4.8 million in 2017, reversing a loss of £4.8 million the previous year.

Total revenue was £195 million, £5 million up on 2016.

Last year, DML carried more than 5.3 million passengers, an increase of 300,000, and nearly 1.4 million vehicles.

DML calls itself a “publicly-owned private company” with the Scottish Government as DML’s sole shareholder.

In terms of routes and vessels, CalMac is the UK’s largest ferry operator.

It operates ferry services on 49 routes providing around 375 sailings every day.

It also operates 24 harbours on behalf of owner Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd.

“This has been another successful year for us, the highlight undoubtedly being successfully securing the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service contract for another eight years,” said DML chairman David McGibbon.

“The period covers the last six months of our old Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service contract and the first six months of the new one.

“I’m delighted that thanks to efficiencies outlined in the our contract bid we are starting out how we mean to go on, in profit.”

As part of the bid, CalMac Ferries agreed to implement more than 350 service improvements.

“Many of our service improvements have already been delivered, such as the rollout of wireless broadband across all vessels and ports, and passengers will be able to see many more as the contract progresses … ” added McGibbon.

“CalMac has a crucial role to play in driving economic development on the islands that is much more than simply providing ferry services.

“Working in partnership with local tourism bodies and visitor attractions, we are a primary partner in both encouraging people to the islands and getting them there and back and were delighted to have this recognised.”