Cross-Solent ferry operator Wightlink saw its turnover plummet by £30m during the COVID pandemic but still made a pre-tax profit of £4m – according to the latest figures from the company’s accounts.

It has been revealed that the company, which operates on 3 routes to and from the Isle of Wight, generated £38.4 million in revenue in the financial year ending March 2021, a down £30m from the previous year.

Despite this 43% reduction in turnover and an operating loss of £3.7m, the company recorded a profit of £4m before tax.

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Business interruption insurance saved Wightlink’s fortunes, with insurers paying over £9million. A total of £6.4million in government grants – £4.5million for furloughs and £1.9million from the Department for Transport – also helped bolster Wightlink’s position at the height of the pandemic.

Official figures show a dramatic 57% drop in passenger numbers, from 4.5 million to 1.9 million, with the number of crossings operated also falling from 41,834 to 19,429, a reduction of 53%.

The company’s strategy report says Wightlink ended the year in a “satisfactory” position given the challenging events of the year. His net assets are now worth £132m.

Competing ferry operator Red Funnel said it lost £24.7m as a result of COVID, as previously reported by Echo of the Island.

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