BC Ferries released its third-quarter financial results ending Dec. 31, 2019, which showed a net loss of $8.3 million.
But year-to-date earnings since Apr. 1, 2019 show net earnings of $98.9 million, up $5.6 million from the same period last year.
The net loss for the quarter is higher than the third-quarter results a year earlier, which was $3.7 million.
The corporation says due to seasonal ferry travel, net earnings in the first and second quarters are normally reduced by net losses in the last two quarters.
BC Ferries says third-quarter revenue increased by $3.2 million compared to the prior year to $210.9 million, and operating expenses went up $7.4 million to $205.7.
In the first nine months of the fiscal year, operating expenses jumped $27.4 million compared to the same period a year earlier, from $619.4 million to $646.8 million.
BC Ferries says the increase is mainly from higher labour costs and staffing level changes, partly from additional round trips from service level adjustments, and expanded service on the major and central routes.
“Last fall, the British Columbia Ferries Commissioner authorized an average rate increase of 2.3 per cent annually that goes into effect April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2024,” BC Ferries’ President and CEO Mark Collins said in a statement.
“We believe that this regulatory decision, being lower than we expected, may make it more challenging to achieve our corporate objectives, which include replacing our ageing fleet, upgrading technology, providing operational resiliency and delivering improved customer service.”
Capital expenditure costs have totalled $147.7 million over nine months ending Dec. 31, 2019, which includes new Island Class vessels, upgrades to the Skeena Queen and Spirit Class and upgrading technology.