Source: Eimskipafelag Islands hf.

Operating results in Q1 exceed expectations

Highlights of Q1 2019 results

  • Revenue amounted to EUR 164.0 million, an increase of EUR 8.5 million or 5.4% when compared with the same quarter in 2018
    • Transported volume in liner services increased by 4.6% driven by a 9.0% increase in container liner services and revenue increased by EUR 5.1 million, or 5%.
    • Volume growth in forwarding services was 1.0% with a meaningful growth of 8.7% in reefer forwarding volume. Revenue increased by EUR 3.4 million, or 6.2%.
  • Salary cost and related expenses fell between years, whereas other operating expenses increased by 5.3%
    • Salary cost and related expenses amounted to EUR 32.7 million compared to EUR 33.7 million in the same quarter last year, which is a decrease of 3%. An average of 1,800 employees worked for the company during this period compared to about 1,860 employees in the same period last year. The number of employees at year-end was 1,821.
    • Other operating expenses amounted to EUR 115.8 million. Other operating expenses amounted to EUR 120.6 million (excluding effects of IFRS 16), compared to EUR 114.5 million in the same quarter last year, an increase of 6.1 million or 5.3%.
  • EBITDA amounted to EUR 15.5 million in the first quarter of 2019 or EUR 10.6 million (excluding IFRS 16) compared to EUR 7.3 million in the same quarter last year, an increase of 47%
    • The increase in EBITDA between years can mostly be attributed to improved results from operations in Norway, continued growth in our Trans-Atlantic services, positive growth in our reefer services,  successful domestic operations and finally the streamlining and integration measures are starting to pay off.
  • Investments for the period amounted to EUR 8.6 million, of which new investments amounted to EUR 4.8 million. Investments during the same period in the previous year amounted to EUR 13.1 million and new investments amounted to EUR 6.4 million
  • Net cash at the end of the period amounted to EUR 26.7 million, compared to EUR 21.9 million at the end of 2018, or an increase of EUR 4.8 million
  • Net loss for the period amounted to EUR 2.5 million, compared to 1.6 million in the same quarter of 2018
    • A negative one-off tax expense in the amount of EUR 3.4 million negatively affected the results. Earnings would otherwise have been EUR 0.9 million.
  • Total assets amounted to EUR 519.1 million and equity amounted to EUR 233.3 million
    • The equity ratio was 44.9% in the first quarter of 2019. Equity ratio was 48.1% (excluding the effect of IFRS 16), compared to 49.3% in the same quarter of 2018.
  • Leverage ratio was 2.92 in the first quarter of 2019 or 2.55 (excluding the impact of IFRS 16), compared to 2.80 at the end of 2018, a positive development between periods


“Eimskips’ performance exceeded expectations in the first quarter of 2019 and EBITDA for the period was the highest first quarter EBITDA since 2009. Revenue and volume increased in our transportation network between quarters and we were pleased to see a 9% increase in our container liner system. Results improved in the company's operations in Norway, despite less transportation volume which can be attributed to various factors, including lower operating costs as the company reduced the fleet by two vessels. Our Trans-Atlantic services experienced continued growth. The company replaced a vessel with a larger one on the company's North America shipping route, to respond to increased demand. Our international reefer forwarding services also experienced growth after a disappointing result last year. Our domestic operations in Iceland perfomed well and finally we have started to see positive effects of streamlining and integration projects, carried out in the past few months. After a period of external acquisitive growth in resent years the company is now focusing on improving current operation, by integrating work and project processes between units in the company's operations, in order to achieve increased profitability.

The company experienced losses after tax during the period, despite improved operating results largely due to a one-off tax expensed in the amount of EUR 3.4 million as the company lost its appeal to the Internal Revenue Board. The appeal queried the payment of income tax on foreign subsidiaries and the taxation of the parent company in Iceland according to so-called Controlled Foreign Corporation (CFC) regulations. The ruling is a great disappointment to the company and further impacts the competitive position of Icelandic merchant shipping parent companies as it is at odds with the merchant shipping framework in other countries.

We are pleased to have received the formal approval of the Competition Authority in Iceland for our collaboration with Royal Arctic Line, which has been under preparation for several years. The partnership will provide new possibilities for a more efficient sailing system as well as new transport routes and weekly sailings to and from Greenland. This creates opportunities for Eimskips‘ customers interested in increasing their business with Greenland. Two new 2,150 TEU container vessels are being built in China as part of the cooperation and delivery is expected by the end of the year. The new vessels are an important factor in updating the company’s fleet with more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient vessels.

Our management team and employees will continue to focus on improving current operation in order to achieve increased profitability.“


  • Vilhelm Thorsteinsson, President & CEO, tel.: +354 525 7202
  • Egill Örn Petersen, CFO, tel.: +354 525 7202
  • Edda Rut Björnsdóttir, Executive Manager, tel.: +354 825 3399, email: