TT-Line Company Pty Ltd posted a record after-tax profit of $25.1 million for the year ended 30 June 2017, the company’s annual report tabled in State Parliament today said.

Chairman Michael Grainger said in virtually every metric, the Company improved its performance compared to last year, and in some instances surpassed historic records.

“In addition to achieving record after tax profit, through the refurbishment of the Spirit of Tasmania vessels, increased sailings and lower average passenger fares, the Company achieved record total revenue of $231.8 million,” he said.

The number of sailings operated in 2016/17 increased by three per cent to 838. Total day sailings operated by the Company was 144 – the highest number of day sailings since 2004.

Passenger numbers increased in 2016/17 by four per cent to 433,925 – also the highest figure reported since 2004. Freight volumes were the highest on record – 103,430 twenty-foot equivalent units compared to 100,626 last year.

The valuation of the vessels did not change compared to last year – they were valued at 65 million euros each as at 30 June 2017.

Mr Grainger said while the vessels were a depreciating asset, the valuation remained steady thanks to the current strong ferry resale market, the quality of the vessels following refurbishment in 2015/16 and reduced short-term new vessel build capacity.

Mr Grainger said 2016/17 was the first year of a new five-year deal (2017 to 2021) between the Company, the AFL and the North Melbourne Football Club to play AFL games in Hobart.

“Spirit of Tasmania’s relationship with North Melbourne (since 2012) has delivered significant brand recognition in our key markets interstate through Channel 7 and Foxtel, and flow-on benefits to the state, particularly in hotel and restaurant businesses,” he said.

“The five-year extension delivered – and will continue to deliver – further benefits to young Tasmanian male and female footballers around the state through The Huddle, a not-for-profit initiative of the North Melbourne Football Club that successfully runs in Victoria and will expand across Tasmania.”

Mr Grainger said the Company continued to work closely with the Tasmanian Government on vessel replacement.

“Replacing critical infrastructure like the Spirit of Tasmania vessels, which form an important part of the state’s future tourism and freight needs, is a significant decision, and we are working closely with our shareholder ministers and relevant government agencies on the issue,” he said.