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Blue Star Ferries Increases Profit 121%

Blue Star Maritime S.A. last month announced consolidated net profit after taxes of €19.2 million for the nine months ending 30th September, 2005, against €8.7 million for the same period in 2004, a significant increase of 121%.

Consolidated revenue stands at €108.3 million, an increase of 1.3%, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization stand at €34.4 million, a 29.7% improvement.

The ferry company said growth in the group’s revenues (despite the 26.2% decrease in sailings executed this year following the sale of four older vessels in 2004), is due to the higher capacity utilization rates achieved in Greek domestic market as well as the redeployment of Blue Star 1 from the Piraeus-Chania route to the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Bari route.

The group said it’s vessels offered high quality and consistent services on the Adriatic Sea, the Cycladic and Dodecanese Islands routes on a daily basis, year-round, and were market favorites, and with the growth in summer traffic, captured large market shares.

In response to market demand the group said it executed many extra sailings to the Greek islands to facilitate the transportation of passengers and the supply of the island communities with the necessary products to meet the increased summer demand.

The factors that contributed to the great improvement of group’s operating results and net profit, despite the sharp increase in the price of fuel oil, included fleet optimization (the sale of four older vessels), cost containment (refinancing), and a successful commercial policy. The company stressed that state intervention still remains the main impediment for the operation of the Greek domestic market as the regulatory framework has not yet adopted the European Regulation 3577/92.

The group’s management expects that compliance with the European Regulation will be accomplished through dialogue with the Greek State, and will allow the Greek domestic market to operate in free competition and every company to apply its own operating and commercial policies.

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