P&O Ferries have today announced that it will £257m in aid, in order to avoid collapsing into administration. The company has applied to the UK government for £150m in emergency funding.
The ferry company, which transports 15% of all goods in and out of the UK, is owned by Dubai-based DP World.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World Chairman and Chief Executive said: “P&O plays a vital role in the UK and thousands of jobs depend on this company. We have to be sure that when this is over we can bounce back and save these jobs.
“We have applied to the UK government to support the company to save the jobs of these people. The government has been slow. We need to safeguard these jobs – a lot of people’s lives depends on this company.”
As passenger numbers have ended since the lockdown and international trade has drastically fallen, P&O has taken seven ships out of service. The firm has also furloughed 1,400 workers.
DP World made profits of more than £1bn last year, on revenues of more than £6bn. A dividend of £270m is due to be paid out to DP World shareholders this week. However, Mr bin Sulayem defended P&O’s plea for financial assistance.
He said: “DP World has never taken a penny out of P&O. Any profits we have made we have reinvested in new vessels. DP World owns many businesses around the world. You cannot just take money out of them to put into a company in another place – it doesn’t make sense.”