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Growing SeaLink expects profit lift

Business

Ferry operator SeaLink Travel Group is expecting a lift in full-year profit and is keeping an eye out for new routes and aquisitions after a solid first-half result.

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The South Australian-based water transport and travel services company boosted first-half net profit by 52.3 per cent to $13.1 million, with revenue also rising 42.4 per cent to $105.8 million.

Managing director Jeff Ellison said the results reflected the company’s focus on integrating recently acquired businesses, particularly SeaLink Gladstone and South East Queensland, purchased in November 2015, and innovations including new light ferries and in-house booking and ticketing.

Ellison said existing businesses, including Kangaroo Island SeaLink, Captain Cook Cruises NSW and Western Australia and SeaLink North Queensland and Northern Territory, had improved returns as well.

“We are experiencing real benefits from the optionality that a larger and more versatile fleet is providing SeaLink,” he said.

“The pre-acquisition business units continue to build on the solid momentum established in FY16.

“We are very pleased with the response to our new ferry services and the uplift in sales and margins for the lunch and dinner cruise market on Sydney Harbour.

“We are well placed to continue growing our tourism-related businesses across Australia in a competitive environment.”

The company said it would continue to seek acquisitions as part of its expansion strategy and forecast an improvement in full-year profit on 2015/16’s result if seasonal and business conditions remain over the next five months

“The second half of the financial year is performing in line with the company’s expectation, with an improvement in Kangaroo Island ferry sales after adverse weather conditions in the first half, pleasing charter and dining performance in Sydney and performance ahead of expectations for our North Stradbroke operations,” SeaLink said.

– AAP

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