BC Ferries has released its financial report for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.

It reveals the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the corporation’s financial bottom line.

BC Ferries says in the first 50 weeks it had one of its strongest performances to date, but the last two weeks of the fiscal year saw traffic grind to a near halt.

During the last two weeks of March there was a decrease of 55 percent in vehicles, and passenger levels dropped by 69 percent.

The result was net earnings of $28.8-Million for the period from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, compared to $52.2-Million for fiscal 2019.

According to BC Ferries’ President and CEO Mark Collins, “The challenges of COVID-19 have been nothing short of profound, with impacts shared by all B.C. businesses, our province, our country and the world.”

In the fiscal year 2020, revenues increased $15.7-Million or 1.7 percent compared to fiscal 2019.

The final figure was primarily a result of increased traffic volumes and retail sales, prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the pandemic expanded, BC Ferries had to reduce service levels to match a significant drop in demand.

The corporation reports it provided over 82,000 round trips during fiscal 2020, 2,330 more than in the prior year and 4,276 more round trips over what is required under the Coastal Ferry Services Contract.

The company carried 8.8 million vehicles and 21.7 million passengers during fiscal 2020. In the first 50 weeks of the fiscal year, passenger traffic was up 0.1 percent and vehicle traffic was up 1.3 percent.

BC Ferries’ fleet reliability record exceeded the target at 99.7 per cent. The company carried up to $8-Billion of cargo, generating commercial revenue of $89.9-million.