AFRICAN Sun Limited (ASL) has announced it will spend $2,1 million in the last quarter of 2018 on refurbishments to improve standards of its hotels and boost occupancy in the future.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
The hospitality group, which reported higher-than-expected earnings in the first half of the year as elections and investment interest lifted visits, expects conferencing and international visits to drive the group’s performance in the outlook.
A statement by ASL chairman Alex Makamure in the company’s financial report for the half-year ended June 30 2018 stated that the hotels group’s confirmed bookings for the remainder of the year were already higher than the comparative period last year.
After-tax profit increased by more than 16 times to $3,1 million during the six-month period from $191 240 in the comparative period in 2017.
“To complement these initiatives and in participation of increased occupancy in the future we have rolled out a refurbishment programme to bring our hotels to regional and international standards. To this end, the company is set to spend $2,1 million in the last quarter of 2018 in refurbishments,” Makamure said.
“The remaining trading period falls into the group’s peak trading season. We expect conferencing and international market business to drive performance. The Victoria Falls properties should continue to experience growth in foreign arrivals.”
During the first half of the year, ASL reported an uptick in occupancy to 55% from 45% in the first half of 2017, spurred by foreign arrivals, mainly those looking for investment opportunities in the country and those involved in the July 30 elections.
The influx of foreign visitors saw foreign revenue growing 32%.
Domestic occupancies also rose 16% with revenue from this source also increasing 26%.
Total revenue grew to $27,04 million in the period under review from $21,01 million.
Group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBTDA) jumped to $5,27 million from a 2017 comparative of $1,92 million.
ASL is optimistic about the outlook in spite of cancellations/deferment of “a number of bookings particularly for city hotels” following reports of “isolated incidences of violence” related to elections.