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Wed 4 Dec 2019 01:53 PM

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Dubai-owned P&O Ferries struggling with $120m pension deficit - auditor

Brexit has seen the shipping, ferry company face 'unprecedented levels of uncertainty'

Dubai-owned P&O Ferries struggling with $120m pension deficit - auditor

The auditor behind P&O Ferries, the British shipping and ferries operator owned by Dubai’s DP World, has warned he cannot “guarantee that the company will continue in operation” due to it's growing pension shortfall.

The deficit in the company’s pension schemes surged to £92.5 million ($120.23m) last year, up from £67.1m in 2017, according to a report by the Mail on Sunday.

The shipping firm, which DP World bought from state-owned holding company Dubai World for £322m in February this year, had a turnover of £145.2m and a pre-tax profit of £13.2m, before the pension deficit was factored in.

The company has moved registration of its vessels from the United Kingdom to Cyprus as part of preparation ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union, but its accounts warned that “unprecedented levels of uncertainty” due to Brexit were a concern.

Tom Eve, the company’s auditor at KPMG, said in a report he could not “guarantee that the company will continue in operation” the Mailonline report added.

P&O Ferries declined to comment for the Mail report.

The company operates more than 20 vessels sailing 27,000 times a year on eight major routes including England to France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland, and Belgium. 

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