Considered by foreign banks as the “Greek Risk”, Greece’s ferry shipping industry is faced with little financial support, which in addition to a series of internal and external factors, is taking a toll on the sector’s performance, according to an annual report released this week by XRTC Business Consultants.
Titled “Profitability Again but with Concerns”, the report underlines the sector’s resilience despite the capital controls and the political instability within Greece as well as the geopolitical climate and the lack of liquidity which has led to reduced funding for the sector.
Indicatively, “turnover in 2006 exceeded 900 million euros compared to today at 700 million euros, down by 22 percent in a decade. At the same time, the fleet of large companies serving all main routes has shrunk by nearly half due to the significant reduction of trade which directly affected the Adriatic market as well as the sharp decline in all domestic routes,” the report says.
The expansion, meanwhile of low cost carriers, the increase in the number of domestic destinations served by major airlines and the surge in the number and frequency of flights per day has created competition which ferry services are unable to keep up with.
The Piraeus-based consultants are however reservedly optimistic that the sector will prove to be resilient due to a fairly streamlined operating framework as long as reforms are implemented and trust is restored in the Greek economy which will in turn restore purchasing power to the people.