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Tallink reports 108 million euro loss, 3,000 layoffs

The Estonian ferry company joins other travel operators in suffering a terrible 2020.

 Tallink Siljan Megastar-matkustajalaiva merisavun keskeltä.
Tallink ferries like this one saw an almost two-thirds drop in passenger numbers last year. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Estonian ferry and shipping company Tallink lost 108.3 million euros in 2020, according to financial results published on Thursday.

The company called the results "unsurprising", given the global pandemic, noting a 62 percent decline in passenger traffic, a 5.2 percent decline in cargo and a 20 percent drop in the number of trips carries out by its ships when compared to 2019.

The Helsinki–Stockholm route, operated by the company's Silja Line brand, was among those put on hold as the virus spread last year.

Coronavirus restrictions also hurt the company's hotels and restaurant business.

Tallink's net sales more than halved, from around 950 million euros in 2019 to just under 443 million in 2020.

The company blamed the loss on travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The challenging business environment led the company to dismiss around 3,000 of its 7,200 staff during 2020.

"We have paid a high price for the position we are in today and that price has been the loss of more than a third of our dedicated and loyal workforce. We continue to hope that some day we may be able to re-engage at least some of them in our future activities and welcome them back," said CEO Paavo Nõgene.

Tallink joins competitor Viking Line and Finnish national airline Finnair in suffering a financial loss as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, Finnair reported a loss of more than 595 million euros in 2020, compared to an operating profit of nearly 163 million euros in 2019.

Viking Line posted a loss of almost 50 million euros, a drop of almost 70 million euros compared to the previous year's result.

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