Profit after financial items for the 2007 financial year (1 January – 31 December 2007) was SEK 201 million, compared with SEK 271 million the previous period. Taking into consideration that the profit for the previous period includes a reversal of a SEK 108 million provision in respect of the dispute with the National Public Transport Agency, the profit is considered satis- factory. One important cause of this profit was the very strong market for product tankers during the period.
During the year, the company resumed its Öland service, after an absence of ten years. The Öland service boosted pass- enger numbers by 36,000, so the total number of passengers increased by 6.2 percent compared with the previous year. The Gotland service has increased every year over the ten years that Destination Gotland has operated the service. The total increase is over 400,000 passengers.
In November, Destination Gotland entered into an agreement with the National Public Transport Agency, and will operate the service from January 2009 until the end of January 2015. Under the new agreement we will be using four vessels in the service, so we can optimise the number of crossings according to demand. The new agreement also means that many of the risks previously borne by the Swedish Government are now transferred to the company. However, we will be doing our best to ensure that residents of Gotland and visitors can continue to travel to and from Gotland both quickly and conveniently.
The company continues to invest in product tankers. Today, we own six product tankers and we are co-owners of two. Two more vessels will be delivered in 2008 and another in 2009. The product tanker market has been very strong for a long period. Most observers feel that this exceptional boom will now mode- rate, primarily because of the very extensive new-building pro- gramme for virtually all types of tanker vessels. Variations in the market over time are natural, and we share the view that we are now entering a period of downturn.
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 feel that our investments are in the niche of the product tanker market that will be in demand.
Finally, we would like to extend our thanks to our employees for their great work.