TALLINN - Baltic ship and ferry operator, Tallink (TAL1T.TL : Quote, Profile, Research) reported a first quarter net profit of 2.6 million Estonian kroons ($243,500) on Friday, a fall of 97 percent from 114.6 million in the same period a year ago.
The company, whose first quarter covers Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 of the 2007/2008 financial year, said the profit collapse was due to the launch of a new booking system in October, which had taken time for both clients and staff to get used to.
Net sales for the period fell 1.9 percent to 2.920 billion kroons in its first quarter.
"During the transition period of the systems, the bookings and sales activities were not running at their highest capacity as the use of resources was disturbed by technical issues," the group said.
It said the negative impact of the new booking system on its results "is not over yet", but expected positive development over the next nine months to meet its targets.
This view was based on the current development in its operations, expected new vessels and changes in routes and signs of easing fuel prices and interest rates.
Tallink is one of the largest passenger and cargo shipping companies in the Baltic Sea region.
The company operates on seven shipping routes under the brands of Tallink, Silja Line and Seawind.
Reporting by David Mardiste ; Editing by David Cowell