TASPORTS saw a busy year in 2022-23, with increased vessel visits, which pushed its annual profits above forecasts.

According to a statement from the state government TasPorts has exceeded its forecasts with a profit of $14.2 million. This was a result of increased vessel visits, including the bounce-back of cruise ship visitation.

The annual result, which was the second highest on record for TasPorts, will see a dividend for the 2022-23 financial year of $11.5 million. As TasPorts is a state-owned company the dividend will be paid to the state budget to support the services of the Tasmanian community.

While freight volumes remained steady, the return of cruise visits following the interruption of covid-19 in the prior financial year helped the financial result.

Tasmanian minister for infrastructure and transport Michael Ferguson said the annual result was also boosted by increased flights and passengers into Devonport Airport (which TasPorts also operates) and the renegotiation of uneconomic legacy lease agreements.

“A total of 2626 vessels visited TasPorts’ ports across Tasmania in the financial year, up from 2,550 in the prior year. This included 125 cruise vessel visits,” Mr Ferguson said.

“The strong financial performance of TasPorts in recent years has enabled the company to invest more than $20 million in renewal of existing port infrastructure across the State and a further $41.9 million in new infrastructure.”

TasPorts’ results included the performance of its subsidiary, Bass Island Line, which reported a greatly improved efficiency and usage. A total of 5590 TEUs were carried between the ports of Grassy on King Island and Devonport, an increase of 1449  from the prior year.

The underlying net result for Bass Island Line was a loss of $1.4 million, the best result of the subsidiary company since it was incorporated.