Finnlines Group’s result before taxes (EBT) improved by EUR 13.8 million and was EUR 67.0 million. Interest-bearing debt decreased by EUR 42.6 million and amounted to EUR 491.1 (533.7) million. The equity ratio calculated from the balance sheet improved to 48.9 (45.7) per cent and gearing dropped to 83.8 (97.1) per cent.
In January 2016, Finnlines improved its weekly liner services between West Finland and Germany by offering two direct sailings from Turku to Travemünde and back and increasing the frequency of the Poland service. Also in January, Finnlines acquired two ro-ro vessels, MS Finnmaster and MS Finncarrier, in accordance with the purchase agreement signed earlier. The vessels were put into Finnlines’ liner services in February 2016.
During spring 2016, Finnlines initiated an extensive refurbishment programme of the passenger areas on six of its ro-pax vessels. The vessels deployed on the FinnLink route were all upgraded before the summer season. On the HansaLink vessels, the renovations were completed by November 2016. During 2016, four ships were fitted with exhaust gas scrubbers and two were also rebladed.
The Company has implemented a vast range of improvement measures and investment programmes, such as vessel optimisation, scrubber retrofits, hull silicone paint, new propulsion systems, cost reduction programmes and tonnage adjustments. Through these, Finnlines is both operationally and financially in a very advantageous position and can offer more environmentally friendly and sustainable services. As a recognition of Finnlines’ commitment, the Company was selected as Ruban d’Honneur recipient in the 2016 European Business Awards and participated as a finalist in the “Environmental & Corporate Sustainability” category. To improve its operations further, Finnlines signed a loan from EIB with guarantees from Nordea and Finnvera to finance part of the EUR 100 million Environmental Technology Investment Programme in June 2016.