Ferry profits nosedive '
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• Disappointing sales tor the Dart Line freight ferry have held back Jacobs Holdings' half. yearly profits, despite increasing demand for Sheertruck, its car transportation business.
Jacobs will not reveal what the two businesses earned until it releases its end-of-year figures, but says the Dart Line difficulties were mostly due to operational problems.
One of the ferries temporarily stopped operating after a commercial dispute and the replacement vessels were less suitable for the job. Hauliers facing more choice over Channel crossings are also putting pressure on margins on its DartfordVlissingen ferries, it admits.
However, car transportation and storage business Sheertruck increased sales and profits on the back of increasing demand for
new cars in a market that grew 9.8eo between 1994 and 1995. It has ordered extra transporters this year and hopes to expand the business by winning more contracts.
Jacobs' businesses togetht earned £14.7m, excluding profits from land sales, compared to k11.8m in 1995. Pre-tax profits rose from 11.3m to £1.7m.