Despite Brexit: Win23 Strategy set to create growth

Dear all,

We have just informed the stock exchange about our results for the year 2019, and though developments were slower towards the end of the year, full-year revenues increased 6% to DKK 16.6 billion. The operating result (EBITDA) increased 1% to DKK 3,633 million.

Despite the growth, it was in the lower end of our initial expectations. This was an indirect effect of Brexit as the continued uncertainty about the future trading conditions slowed investments, trading volumes and travel in the UK market.

Our Mediterranean business is still impacted by a recessionary Turkish economy and certain operational issues following the absorption of the significant volumes of EKOL early 2019 but we see a gradual recovery in 2020. The Logistics Division continued to perform well in spite of the Brexit situation, although Nordics saw lower results than 2019 where strong activity in automotive had boosted results.

The somewhat lower developments in revenues and results do not mean that we had a slow year. On the contrary, we can look back at a nearly complete change of Management. And more than once, we had all men and women on deck to prepare for Brexit – only to see Brexit postponed in the very last minute. It was also the year in which we took delivery of the first three of our mega freight ferries and continued building ships in China.

In fact, it has been an extremely busy and exciting year, and I can’t thank you enough for your fantastic efforts that keep making DFDS stronger every year.

Our ambition is to grow

The Brexit uncertainty will continue in 2020 until we know whether the transition period will be replaced by a trade agreement or not, and we do not have the power to speed up Brexit. Instead, it is in our own hands to create the growth we foresee in the 2020 outlook.

If we work together, collaborate across our many businesses, we can grow our existing business in many places, and create new revenues according to the plans laid out in the four pillars of our Win23 Strategy.

I am confident that we will see growth in the Cold Chain, Automotive and Forest & Metal transport services, where we now have dedicated teams to create it. We will see our increasing digital capabilities grow online sales and improve operational efficiency. We are underway with new passenger products. We will also see the benefits of a new, more efficient route structure in BU Mediterranean.

All of this, and more, will, with your support, make DFDS grow in 2020 and beyond. I look forward to collaborating with you on this ambition.

Thank you very much to everyone for your commitment and hard work in 2019.


Torben Carlsen



February 6, 2020