National News

Smooth sailing for BC Ferries' first quarter

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - BC Ferries has sailed into the new fiscal year by more than tripling its net earnings for part of 2014.

The corporation released its first quarter results, showing net earnings of $13.9 million from April to June, compared to $4.3-million over the same period last year.

Higher fares, transportation fees and fuel surcharges coupled with lower financing costs are credited for the healthier financial picture, although BC Ferries says gains were offset by lower traffic levels and a two-per-cent jump in operating costs.

Revenues were also up in the first quarter, climbing 6.6 per cent to $213.1 million.

Ferries president Mike Corrigan says the corporation's catering and retail sectors also had strong results, as well as its program offering vacation packages and booking services.

Five million people travelled on a BC Ferry route in the first quarter, and Corrigan says even though vehicle traffic dipped 0.4 per cent, passenger traffic was up by almost the same amount compared to the first quarter last year.

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