Ferry and cruise operator SeaLink is confident a surge in international tourism helped by the falling Australian dollar will continue to boost profits in the year ahead.
Growth in its charter operations drove a net profit of $9.3 million in 2014/15, up 29 per cent on the previous year.
Excluding one-off costs relating to an acquisition under assessment, the company posted a record underlying net profit of $9.6 million in the year to June 30.
Managing director Jeff Ellison expects profits to increase in the 2016 financial year as the falling Aussie dollar entices overseas holidaymakers Down Under.
“There is strong appetite for SeaLink’s leisure products, particularly from increased visitors from the international market,” he said on Wednesday.
Lower fuel costs caused by dipping world oil prices also had a positive impact, Mr Ellison said.
SeaLink enjoyed record sales for all businesses, with its Captain Cook Cruise services on Sydney Harbour benefiting from charter contracts with Harbour City Ferries and major event contracts such as The Vivid Festival and the Biennale.
During the year, the company expanded its Sydney Harbour services to Watsons Bay and Manly, while its South Australian business had a solid year of revenue growth as more people visited Kangaroo Island.
And a Northern Territory ferry contract from Darwin to Tiwi Island reaped the benefits of a full year of operation amid the growing tourist market.
SeaLink’s shares finished five cents, or 2.08 per cent, higher at $2.45.
SEALINK PROFIT MAKES WAVES
* Net profit of $9.3m, up 29.2 pct from $7.2m in 2013/14
* Sales revenue of $111.3m, up 7.2 pct from $103.8m
* Final fully franked dividend of four cents per share, up eight pct