Waverley’s Financial Performance 2016/17

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

Waverley’s Financial Performance 2016/17

The full accounts for the last financial year for Waverley Steam Navigation (WSN) which owns Waverley and Waverley Excursions Ltd (WEL) which operates have now been published and are available from Companies House.

Because there are two companies, it is not straightforward to extract key information from the accounts. Once again therefore Graham Shankland, Finance Director and accountant to the companies, has prepared a summary statement which appears below along with comparative information for the previous year.

Despite the tremendous difficulties encountered in 2017, it is good to note that the efforts being put in by directors and staff have still produced a surplus before depreciation.

[signature name=”Paul Semple” role=”PSPS National Chairman”]


WSN/WEL Accounts November 2016 – October 2017

As in previous years, WSN/WEL Boards felt it would be helpful to give a summary statement on the above accounts, in order to give a better understanding to key readers. In the interests of clarity we have combined the two accounts into one statement. The accounts will shortly be lodged with Companies House.

We have shown comparison with the previous year 2015/16.  Please note that certain figures for 2015/16 have been restated to make them fully comparable to the equivalent ones for 2016/17.

Headlines – 2017

2017 was an exceptional year as the paddler experienced two significant periods out of service due to mechanical problems and accident repairs.  Inevitably this affected financial performance adversely in all aspects of the business but the companies still produced a modest profit before depreciation.

Waverley sales Passenger numbers were down by 32.8%
Sailing days achieved were 85, compared to 108 planned and 107 in 2016
Catering sales down 24.5%, retail sales 27.7%
Catering gross profits down 45.7%%, retail profits down 23.3%
Waverley refit costs Reduced by 17.3% (2017: £329,263, 2016: £398,098)
Fuel Costs Increased by 14.0%, despite reduced operations due to market prices
Pilotage/Berthing dues Reduced by 32.1% on last year
Marketing costs Reduced by 18.2% on last year
Donations/Support (excluding PSPS) Increased by £120,872, up 81.4% on previous year

Key Financial Information

Sailing Revenue 1,219,953 1,575,636
Sailing Days 85 107
Passenger Numbers 74,620 110,987
Catering/Retail – Sales 434,610 580,240
– Profit 145,344 240,701
Operating Costs 1,637,642 1,797,389
Donation/Support (exc. PSPS) 268,214 144,109
PSPS Support 66,365 53,638
Management and Admin Costs 325,360 317,353
Fuel Costs 283,434 248,660
Pilotage and Berthing Dues 88,462 130,369
Marketing 176,911 216,320


The consolidated result for the year before depreciation is a surplus of £27,290 against a surplus of £243,264 in 2015/16, a reduction of 88.8%. Given the loss of 23 days sailings (21.3%), this is a remarkable result.

Depreciation is a non-cash expense which almost entirely relates to Waverley herself, so does not affect the viability of operations.