DAVID MacBrayne Ltd, the transport and logistics firm that operates CalMac Ferries, has hailed a significant profits hike on the back of record passenger numbers. 

The company said that, “combined with smart working practices”, numbers of Western Isles visitors led to increased profits and higher customer satisfaction. 

It reported revenues up to £215 million for the year ended March 31, 2019 against £210m the year before and profit before tax was £7.1m compared to £4.2m.

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For the first time, CalMac carried more than 5.6m passengers and more than 1.4m vehicles as part of a year on year increase, it said.

Duncan Mackison, DML chief executive, welcomed the results and said: “Against a challenging background, our performance, both financially and in our service offering to the travelling public is outstanding.”
The firm also said it is “on course to cut our carbon emissions by five per cent over the year to come”.

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It added: “This reduction equates to carbon output produced by 1,668 cars every year.

“The significant reduction in carbon produced is mainly down to the use of fuel monitoring systems, increasing operational
efficiency and diligent work by all involved in the business.”

It operated 162,335 of 164,089 scheduled sailings with service reliability of 99.4% and punctuality also running at 99.6% last year, the company said.

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Mr Mackison said: “Over the year we have seen improvements that focus on customer service, increased training opportunities for young people and a greater focus on environmental awareness, all helping sustainable economic
development across our islands and remote mainland communities.”

The company said across the wider DML group it “continues to realise its growth ambitions”.

After taking over the management of Perth Harbour from the local authority in July 2018, marine traffic into Perth has increased by an impressive 31%, DML said.