Brittany Ferries which transports passengers and freight between the UK and Europe is building a new LNG powered ship, despite brexit uncertainty, which as Kate King reports, has seen its profits fall.
For forty four years Brittany Ferries has been moving people and freight between the UK and Europe. It started operations the day the UK joined the common market. Symbolic, if only because Friday marks a year since Britain's decided to exit the EU, leaving businesses on both sides of the channel asking what next? SOUNBITE (English) CHRISTOPHE MATHIEU, CEO OF BRITTANY FERRIES, SAYING: "We see the future with great confidence although, we know we're going to have to be careful. We need to be careful and go through a bit of a rough sea. But we know that after the bad weather always comes the good weather." And with that in mind - Brittany Ferries isn't waiting for the current to change. It's building its first new ship in eight years. A super ferry powered by LNG that will run on its Portsmouth-Caen route from 2019. The company gambling on the attraction of continental Europe. SOUNBITE (English) CHRISTOPHE MATHIEU, CEO OF BRITTANY FERRIES, SAYING: "Of course it may sound a bit more risky today, but like we say never mind the Brexit. We look forward, and we do hope and believe that any how long term the geography will remain. The Brits would always want to visit the nice parts of France that we serve with our ferry. " Of the 2.67 million passengers traveling annually on Brittany Ferries 80 percent are British. That means most of its customers are paying in Sterling, which has fallen almost 15 percent against the euro since last June. Affecting not only the price of holidays - but Brittany Ferries take home profit. SOUNBITE (English) CHRISTOPHE MATHIEU, CEO OF BRITTANY FERRIES, SAYING: "We have most of our revenue in pounds and our cost in Euro because we employ French seafarers. So that's going to have a mechanical impact on our bottom line ." Britain's prime minister has hailed the 'constructive' start to Brexit negotiations, still unclear though whether she will head calls for a 'transitional' period to reassure businesses they're not heading towards the rocks.