‘Vassilios’ ferry joins Salamis fleet

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The car ferry RO-RO ‘Vassilios’ is the latest addition to the Salamis fleet of ferries, a container vessel, and the popular Filoxenia cruise ship. The Group overcame challenges gripping world tourism and transport.

Named after Salamis Group founder Vassos Hadjitheodosiou, the new acquisition is expected in its home port of Limassol in July, arriving from Finland, changing its flag to the Cyprus registry.

Salamis Tours (Holdings) Public Ltd signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the 21,000-ton roll-on, roll-off ferry, built in 1990, formerly the ‘Baltica’ owned by Godby Shipping subsidiary Oy Trailer-Link AB.

The purchase price, as declared on the Cyprus Stock Exchange, is €4.75 mln.

Godby said the delivery would occur in Pireaus between June 25 and July 25 after completing the present time-charter to Swedish company TransProCon.

Godby owned the Korean-built Baltica since 2015, and she has traded for various customers in the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and the Mediterranean.

In January 2019, Salamis acquired the RO-RO Akritas for €4.95 mln that commenced itineraries in April of the same year, operating the weekly Thessaloniki-Limassol-Haifa route, while the RO-RO ferry Alexo operates the weekly Lavrion-Limassol-Haifa route.

The container vessel M/V Alasa operates the weekly cargo line from Piraeus to Limassol, Haifa and Ashdod.

Better than expected

However, the Salamis Group has overcome the strain imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic that brought the world tourism sector to its knees, while cruise operators struggle to get off the ground.

In its consolidated annual report for 2020, the Salamis Tours holding company saw a 13.6% drop in revenue to €46.2 mln, with a reduction in all activities, apart from customs clearance, shipments, and international transport.

The tourism sector was the hardest hit, dropping 91% from €4.4 mln to €403,530, due mainly to the halt in ticketing and sale of holiday packages.

The Group’s maritime sector saw a 21% drop in earnings to €21.2 mln, due mainly to the suspension of all cruise operations onboard the Filoxenia.

However, the ‘life saver’ in this sector was the RO-RO ferry Akritas.

The customs clearance, shipments and international transport sector enjoyed an 8.7% increase in revenues to €33.7 mln.

The Groups gross profit saw a 12% reduction from €13.7 mln in 2019 to €12 mln in 2020, attributed to the reduction in turnover, which was better than many peers in all Salamis activities.

The net profit for 2020 is €4.3 mln, down from €5.94 mln in 2019, with earnings per share (EPS) attributed to shareholders at 10.35c, from 15.65c in 2019.

The management has proposed the next shareholders’ annual general meeting on July 21, a final dividend of €2.19 mln, or 6c a share.