My Ref: MRP 23/1
12th December 2019
Circular No. NP/279 /19
To: The Secretary
Regional Councils, All Shipping Branches
P&O Ferries Press Report
You may have read in the press recently that P&O Ferries lost £14.7m which was caused by pension contribution and a rising pension deficits which could potentially lead to P&O Ferries being in danger of folding. As you would expect this has caused great concern amongst our members and therefore your union contacted P&O management to establish whether this press report was correct.
Having raised our concerns management have provided us with the following statement:
“Media reports have focussed on only a small part of the P&O Ferries business. In 2018, P&O Ferries had a turnover of £1.1 billion (not £145 million) and Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization of £100 million (not £13 million). The figures were therefore quoted out of context as Dubai Ports (DP) World acquired all of the P&O Ferries £1.1 billion business for a consideration of £322 million.
P&O Ferries is now an integral part of DP World, which has a portfolio of more than 150 operations in over 50 countries across six continents, giving it a significant presence in both high growth and mature markets. By thinking ahead, foreseeing change and innovating, DP World is creating the most productive, efficient and safe trade solutions globally.
P&O Ferries is a strong recognisable brand and adds a best in class logistics provider to DP World’s global portfolio.
Any short term pension deficit variations that various parts of the P&O Ferries business are experiencing should be seen in the context of deteriorations in most UK company pension’s liabilities as well as in the light of P&O Ferries’ and DP World’s ambitious plans for long-term growth in multiple geographies. Regardless, the size of the P&O Ferries pension deficit is not significant to a company the size of DP World that has revenue totalling £2.3bn annually.”
While this statement will ease some worries about the future of the P&O business I wish to advise you that the RMT will continue to monitor this situation and will be checking the data included in the above statement to ensure that our members’ jobs are safe.
I will keep you informed of developments.