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Ongoing travel restrictions continue to impact Tallink Grupp financial results in Q2 2021

Tallink Grupp has today published its 2021 second quarter financial results, which continue to be impacted by the ongoing travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the second quarter (1 April – 30 June) of the 2021 financial year, Tallink Grupp carried a total of 427 767 passengers, which is 10.2% more than in the second quarter last year. The number of cargo units transported increased by 6.0% in the same comparison and the number of passenger vehicles transported in Q2 2021 increased by 22.7% compared to the same period last year.

The Group’s unaudited consolidated revenue increased by 32.5% or EUR 21.1 million in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 and amounted to EUR 86.1 million. The unaudited EBITDA in the quarter was EUR 4.4 million (EUR 2.4 million in Q2 2020) and the unaudited net loss amounted to EUR 24.3 million (net loss of EUR 27.4 million in Q2 2020).

Revenue from the company’s route operations (core business) increased in Q2 2021 by EUR 9.7 million compared to the same period in 2020 and amounted to EUR 66.1 million. Some of the other activities positively contributing to revenue increase during the quarter were the short-term charter of Silja Europa, various retail activities, including also Burger King operations and launch of the COVID testing service on board.

The Group’s investments in second quarter of 2021 amounted to EUR 3.1 million (EUR 14 million in Q2 2020). Due to the changed economic environment and suspension of vessel operations, ship-related investments were kept to minimum and only critical maintenance and repair works were performed. Investments were also made in the development of the online booking and sales systems as well as other administrative systems and in relation to the opening of Burger King restaurants.

At the end of Q2 2021, the Group’s liquidity buffer remains strong at EUR 116.7 million (EUR 104.9 million at 30 June 2020) and the agreement by the Group at the end of the quarter with its financial partners on the amendment and the prolongation of the waivers of financial covenants and the postponement of principal payments under existing loan agreements, has provided further alleviation for the Group during the challenging times.

Despite the challenges presented by the crisis, shareholder confidence in the group remains strong with the number of shareholders at the end of Q2 2021 being more than double compared to the end of 2019 and totalling 28 715 (13 670 at the end of 2019), out of whom more than 7000 are Finnish FDR holders.

Commenting on the second quarter results, Tallink Grupp’s CEO Paavo Nõgene said:
„The run-up and start of the 2021 high season has been very different from that of 2020. When in 2020 there was great hope and temporary relief in May and June that the world has beaten COVID and we were on the path to recovery, then this year we are all far more pragmatic, cautious and know that the world has not yet managed to defeat the pandemic and recovery is still a way off. With ongoing, but gradually reducing travel restrictions and a drop in traveller confidence due to strong messages from governments to only travel if you have to, the international transport and travel industry continues to face extreme difficulties, 17 months after the start of the pandemic.

“In Tallink Grupp, the second quarter of 2021, was mostly spent on preparing for at least some operations and level of service during the summer high season, with our main focus on domestic cruises and services during tight restrictions, and a gradual re-opening of our regular routes as restrictions are lifted. It is positive to see that those passengers that do travel, are keen to enjoy everything on offer on our vessels and make the most of the shopping, dining, entertainment and relaxation opportunities available.

“The start of the quarter still saw us offering very limited operations and services, but by the end of the quarter we managed to open up 3 of our hotels in Tallinn, saw marginally increased passenger numbers on the Tallinn-Helsinki route and were able to resume sailing with Silja Serenade on domestic routes and Silja Europa with no-disembarkation cruises, all of which have assisted with vital revenues, but also, just as importantly, staff morale and motivation.

“The increase in EBITDA in the environment of continuously strict restrictions, significantly lower support measures and increasing fuel prices has been achieved only due to previously taken steps to increase cost efficiency and we will continue with tight cost control measures, careful planning and utmost flexibility, efficient operations and innovative approaches as we go into the second part of the year and I sincerely hope that the national vaccination progress will enable us all to avoid similar restrictions and lock-downs going forward that we have had to endure so far.“

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