The post-tax profit for the 2008 financial year (1 January – 31 December 2008) was SEK 337 million, compared with SEK 213 million in the previous year. Considering that no vessel was sold during the year, the profit must be regarded as very good. The principal reason for the good profit was the very strong market for product tankers during the period.
In November 2007, Destination Gotland entered into a new agreement with the National Public Transport Agency for the period January 2009 to January 2015. A large part of Destination Gotland’s work during the past year was devoted to improvements for the new transport period. The new agree- ment is formulated completely differently to the previous one and entails stricter requirements from the Swedish Government and involves the shipping company taking greater risks than previously. To deal with this, Destination Gotland has invested in a new booking and pricing system, among other things.
The shipping company continues to invest in product tankers. We currently own eight product tankers, part-own two and have a further three vessels on order in partnership with Wisby Tankers AB. We take a very positive view of the closer partnership with Wisby Tankers AB. In addition to owning vessels together, we have a joint management company, Wisby Shipmanagement AB, which has taken over management of four of our product tankers.
The product tanker market has enjoyed an unusually long, sustained boom. We are now seeing a decline and many analysts fear that we are facing a recession for product tankers as well, which may be long and deep.
However, Rederi AB Gotland’s investment in product tankers is long-term, and the cycle will naturally vary over time. We are well equipped for this and, even if the product tanker market is affected by the general economic situation, it is our continued opinion that our investments will be profitable over time.
Finally, we would like to extend our thanks to our employees for their great work.