The Wilderness group financial results for the year ended February 2018 show that Botswana’s contribution to the groups’ profit was at 50 percent, P119million compared to 60 percent or P123million in the same reporting period of the previous year.
Speaking at the Group’s results presentation this Friday, Wilderness Group Chief Executive Officer, Keith Vincent, said Mombo is the major boost for Botswana operations. “We spent P120million rebuilding Mombo and it is running very full. We are very excited with what the future is looking like with Mombo.” The area boasts enormous concentrations of plains game and predators which begin virtually on Mombo’s decks, the surrounding floodplains teeming with game year round.
From the results, the Group revenue increased by 9 percent to P1 209 million (2017: P1 107 million) driven by the increase in bednights sold. EBITDA margin declined from 19 percent to 17 percent, primarily due to the higher foreign exchange losses as well as lower ‘other gains’. These gains primarily comprise insurance proceeds and net profit on disposal of assets, and have declined from P16 million to P1 million in the current year.
The Group’s Chief Finance Officer, Ami Azoulay added that Mambo’s performance came exceptionally well though unexpected. He said, even though Mombo is the Group’s flagship, they can operate without it looking at the other operations.
The Group is also experiencing a strong demand in Namibia, South Africa and whilst Zambezi is also on the road to recovery, according to the group executives.
In addition Vincent added that there is a boom in Southern Africa and is promising for the region. “More people are coming for the Victoria Falls, which is an encouraging sign for Botswana, Zambia and Namibia. We are excited about the longer future for Botswana’s tourism conservation and wildlife and we should fully take advantage of it in the coming years.”
Looking ahead, further to the bright future of Mambo, Kenya and Zimbabwe also augur well for the year ahead for the group, with them also being now. Kenya contributed as little as 2 percent (P5million) to the group’s profit. Rwanda is also expected to increase its contribution both in occupancy and revenue.
The exchange rate volatility remains a risk and if the recent strength of the local currencies continues, it will weigh down on performance. Without divulging into political issues, Vincent said “US will give us some problems but we will have to manage that as and when it happens.”