One of the country’s biggest hospitality group, Cresta Marakanelo, has said that with the waning in strength of the negative effects caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the tourism and hospitality industry experienced a surge in the rebound momentum in 2022.
The Covid-19 outbreak in late 2019 drubbed the leisure focused operator, registering a loss for the six months ended June 2020. When summed up altogether, Cresta registered a pre-tax loss of P42.5 million for the six months ended June 2020, a stark contrast to the pre-tax profit of P12.1 million in June 2019, which was an increase of 170 percent from 2018’s figures after Cresta implemented cost containment initiatives at the hotels which resulted in improved margins and higher profitability. The momentum built a fee years before Covid 19 pandemic were decimated by the outbreak, bringing the hotel operator back to square one.
However, fast forward to 2022, the group says it has found its fit again. During the six months period that ended 30 June 2022, as Covid 19 sponsored restrictions were removed, the hotelier has returned to profitability. Its unaudited financials for the period under review shows a growth in Net profit of up to P9.4 million compared to the 35.2 million net loss recorded in 2021. Other key highlights include a 72 percent rise in revenue to P164.9 million (HY 2021:P93.0 million) while gross profit increased by 305 percent reaching P68.0 million (HY 2021: BWP16.8 million).
The Botswana Stock Exchange quoted hotelier’s Balance sheet expanded by a single digit (8 percent) to reach P523.4 million from P485.6 million in 2021.
The company directors stated that it has recorded a significant increase in occupancies at its hotels due to continued arrival of international tourists as well as a steady rise in local travel.
“There has also been steadily rising both for corporates and individuals resulting in a significant increase in occupancies across all the Company’s hotels”, reads part of the notes accompanying Cresta’s latest financials.
Going forward, Cresta directors says the Group will continue to implement its yielding strategy to ensure it remains competitive, while also leveraging on technology and digitalisation in order to optimise operations, service provision and cost effectiveness.
“Execution of expansion projects as a critical path to success for the year is a top priority, together with the refurbishment of the existing properties in the portfolio. The focus on cash generation continues as this will be key in funding the various projects in the pipeline”, says Cresta Managing Director Mokwena Morulane.