Historic month for historic shipping firm

DFDS has reported its best ever first quarter result just months after celebrating its 150th birthday.

The historic ferry and logistics operator posted a four per cent increase in revenue for first three months of 2017, with profit before tax up by ten per cent thanks to strong freight performance and despite slightly weaker UK passenger numbers due to the late Easter.

In an indicator of strong underlying economic trends, freight volumes and UK-Continental trade flows continue to grow and the company reports a ten per cent increase in shipments on its North Sea freight routes and a three per cent rise in freight on its cross-Channel routes from Dover to France.

First quarter revenues for the group were €432m (£363m), compared with €414m (£348m) for the first three months of 2016. This helped the company to its best-ever first quarter result.

Last year DFDS celebrated its 150th anniversary with a ship built out of over a million Lego bricks. The World’s Largest Lego Ship docked in Trafalgar Square before setting sail to Copenhagen, and took 900 hours to construct.

To commemorate the anniversary, DFDS gave every one of the more than 7,000 employees shares in the company as an anniversary gift. All who were employed by the company as of 1 December 2016, and who work at least 24 hours a week, received 30 shares valued at around DKK 10,000. Employees on fewer hours received shares proportional to the hours worked.

A video of the firm’s 150 year history has also been released to showcase its remarkable past:


  • In 2016 on the Eastern channel alone (Dover-Calais and Dover-Dunkirk) they carried more than 3.5 million passengers, in more than one million cars (passengers have to travel by vehicle on the two routes)
  • This year, they are spending £20 million to expand capacity and renew its fleet
  • They have more than 7,000 employees, with more than 2,200 employees in the UK

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