Herbert Nkala has retired as chairman of African Sun Limited after more than three years at the helm, with the hospitality group expected to announce his successor in the coming days.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Speaking at African Sun’s annual general meeting held at one of their hotels in Harare yesterday, Nkala said his departure was coming when the company was experiencing improved returns.
Nkala was appointed chair of the board on March 31, 2015.
“As I leave the company that I love, I am pleased to be doing so when it is at its best performance in more than a decade. I am indeed privileged to have been part of the spectacular recovery of the company. This also given the fact that the prevalent business environment is pointing north,” he said.
“It is a clear indication that going forward this recovery is sustainable indeed and it is my considerate view that tourism will grow fast after the elections so much that in two years’ time, at the current rate of growth, we will run out of rooms in this country.”
However, he said growth in the business for the company was a result of improved refurbishment of their hotels.
Part of the success Nkala mentioned also involved posting a dividend for the shareholders for the first time in nearly a decade for the financial year ending December 31, 2017 of $600 655.
In the first five months of the year, revenue for the group was up 30% to $20,97 million from $16,74 million in the same period last year.
Of that amount revenue, domestic revenue was up 28% to $11,6 million while foreign revenue was up 32% to $9,37 million.
The increase in revenue was attributed a growth in occupancy to 53% spurred on by foreign arrivals who were up 24% arriving for investment opportunities and elections observers. The average daily rate was up to $97 from a 2017 comparative of $89.