Organic growth and increased occupancy rate boosts the Wilderness Safaris profits for the period under review.
The hospitality company’s unaudited interim financial results for the six months ended 31 August 2015, indicate that Wilderness revenue grew by 13 percent from the P778million recorded in 2013 to P880 million.
The report that is ordered by Chairman Parks Tafa linked the profit gain to the organic growth as nearly all camps recorded improved occupancy rate. “This was with some assistance from the stronger US dollar.” The report indicates that owned bednight sales increased by 17 percent to 82 199 with 7 percent increase in available bednights to 133 004 from 105 376 due to two additional camps. “As a result occupancy increased from 67 percent to 73 percent this year,” he stated adding that the bednight increase resulted in an increase of 9 percent in revenue per available room.
In mixed occupancy the premiere accommodation went up to 6 percent, classic up by 14 percent, adventure up by 23 percent and tour series went up by 25 percent. The Group’s margin has improved to 43 percent from 42 percent, as their higher yielding owned product contributed 59 percent of revenue.
The increase was impacted by the 17 percent year-on-year increase in owned product sales compared to an 8 percent growth in independent product sales. “The decision taken to invest in further improving the quality of the food and service at all camps also increased variable costs per bednight.” The group's other gains amounting to P5.1million are profit from insurance claims amounting to P3.9 million and P1million from the profit on sale of two subsidiary companies.
The impairment losses amounted to P5.2million, of which P3million related to impairment of camp assets due to continued lease negotiations. The other P1.8million was due to the surrender of a concession in Zambia and balance relating to various property and, plant and equipment. Meanwhile the group re-invested P49million in capital expenditure in relation to opening of the new Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia.
Upgrades of various Botswana based camps, purchase of aircraft engines and an investment in new vehicles. The Hoanib Skeleton Camp is a 16-bed camp classified as classic. In addition construction of the Linkwasha camp in Zimbabwe has commenced and the camp is expected to open during the second quarter of 2015, the camp will be an 18-bed classic.
The group cash balances increased by 32 percent to stand at P356million despite the 25 percent decrease in average bearing debt due to scheduled repayment of facilities and capital expenditure invested.