THE Spirit of Tasmania service carried nearly 49,500 fewer people and 17,500 fewer passenger vehicles in 2011-12.
TT-Line chief executive Charles Griplas said the decrease reflected the 9 per cent downturn in holiday visitors to Tasmania.
"More importantly for TT-Line, our primary market, interstate visitors, was down by 10 per cent," he said.
The figures have resulting in a $426,000 loss compared with a $506,000 profit the previous year.
Overall the company carried 358,342 people, 165,456 passenger vehicles and transported 96,462 units of freight, up slightly from 2010-11. In heartening news for the government-owned business, independent research found that 94 per cent of night passengers rated their travel experience as having met or exceeded expectations.
The company also contributed $300 million to the Tasmanian economy.
Mr Griplas said provisions were being made for the replacement or refurbishment of the two Spirit of Tasmania vessels.
A committee established to oversee the process is due to report back to the board before December 2013.
Mr Griplas played up the value of TT-Line's $1.5 million sponsorship of North Melbourne, which will play against 2012 AFL premier Sydney and Port Adelaide next year.
"Through these games we will be promoting Tasmania and Spirit of Tasmania to audiences in New South Wales, South Australia and our key market in Victoria," he said.
Meanwhile, Tasracing made a loss of $10.4 million in 2011-12 compared with $3.6 million in 2010-11.