B.C. Ferries has released its third quarter results for the fiscal year ending March 31.

Net earnings for the nine-month period ending December 31 were
nearly $101 million dollars, down from $118 million for the same period in the previous year.

The company attributes the decline in earnings to service enhancements including extra sailings, and trials associated with the introduction of three new vessels, resulting in an increase in fuel consumption, labour and training costs.

Maintenance costs were also significantly higher because of some vessel refits.

In the three months ending December 31, B.C. Ferries carried 1.9 million vehicles and 4.6 million passengers on more than 42,000 sailings.

Both vehicle traffic and passenger traffic increased by more than 5 per cent compared to the same quarter in the last fiscal year.