Sealink profit up but Straddie route challenging

Stradbroke Ferries operated by Sealink out of Toondah Harbour in Cleveland

Sealink’s Stradbroke Ferries operate out of Toondah Harbour in Cleveland

Record sales and profit for the full year ending June 2017 were recently announced by Sealink Travel Group which operates ferry services in various Australian locations including Moreton Bay.

The ASX listed company (SLK) said record sales of $201.4m (up 13.5% from $177.5m in 2016) were driven by full year impact of business acquisitions and strong growth in tourism businesses.

Record Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) of $23.8m was up 6.6% on the previous year ($22.3m) and directors have declared a final dividend of $0.08 per share, an increase of 6.7% on the $0.075 final dividend paid in 2016.

South East Queensland operations

Sealink said performance of its South-East Queensland and Gladstone business unit was meeting expectations following its acquisition from Transit Systems Marine in November 2015.

Commenting on its South East Queensland operations, Sealink said:

In April 2017, we recruited a new General Manager to the business with a very strong background in tourism, who will lead our strategic plan to grow tourism on North Stradbroke Island.

The South-East Queensland result benefited from the barging supplies for housing and infrastructure activity generated to meet the demand from the growing residential area of outer Brisbane.

The operational result from Stradbroke Ferries was stronger than expected with vehicle growth being a key driver.

We continue to work effectively with the Queensland Government and local community groups on further opportunities to grow tourism on North Stradbroke Island.

We also took advantage of consolidating the South East Queensland operations onto one site, which has reduced office overheads and improved the coordination of day to day running of the business.

The operation has also benefited from a full year ownership of the shore base café. This strategic decision to control the shore base food and beverage operation, has given the business greater buying power and has assisted in enhancing the offerings of the cafes on the vessels.

Sealink comments on Toondah Harbour development plans

Sealink submission about Walker Group’s proposed Toondah Harbour development.

In a submission to the Federal Government about the proposed Toondah Harbour development, Sealink Travel Group said that the period from 2019 will be “particularly challenging” for Sealink and other transport providers as North Stradbroke Island’s economy transitions from sand mining.

A copy of Sealink’s submission was obtained recently by Redlands2030 through a crowd funded Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

Sealink said in its submission that it supported Walker Group’s revised masterplan for development at Toondah Harbour.

The Government received 1,419 submissions about Walker Group’s revised project plan.

Only eight submissions, including the one made by Sealink, supported Walker Group’s proposal according to the Government’s summary of public submissions obtained through the same FOI request.

Sealink CEO Jeff Ellison told the Government in his company’s submission that:

A new marina, improved ferry facilities and improved amenities around a new residential corridor, will mean North Stradbroke is an idyllic and close holiday destination for thousands of new residents. Importantly the Toondah Harbour ocean front will be a place to visit and the community will again face the waterfront and the islands of Cleveland Bay.

Toondah Harbour is some distance from the “ocean” and “Cleveland Bay” is near Townsville, in North Queensland.


Redlands2030 – 7 September 2017