Troubled Norwegian cruise and ferry player Hurtigruten has received a NOK 79m ($11.20m) shot in the arm after a court victory over the state.

It will book the gain in the fourth quarter following the ruling at Halogaland Court of Appeals.

Hurtigruten says the case dates back to 2006 when it began action against the government after being taxed on profit from the sale of shares in Nor-Cargo.

“The judgment upholds Hurtigruten ASA`s claim that the profits from the sale of the shares are not taxable under the tax exemption model,” the Oslo-listed company said.

Hurtigruten took over the shares in May 2004 when it was known as Ofotens og Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab ASA (OVDS).

It regarded a NOK 282m profit on the shares as non-taxable under tax exemption model which came into force in March 2004.

But a dispute surrounding when the sale of Nor-Cargo shares took affect saw Hurtigruten defeated in a regional court battle.

As a result tax and deferred tax costs on its 2006 balance sheet reached NOK 79m, it says.

“Due to the judgement in Halogaland Court of appeals the tax cost can now be reversed and will be recognised as income in December 2008,” Hurtigruten said.

Higher costs and fewer passengers led the company to a loss of NOK 126.31m in the first nine months of 2008. This compares to a profit of NOK 107.98m in the same period last year.