Wilderness Holdings Limited’s revenue has increased by 18 percent to P1 107 million while in 2016 it was at P935 million and is said to have been driven by the increase in bed-nights sold.
The company announced in its financial results for the year ended February 2017 that the Group’s occupancy rate remained flat at 58 percent. Also the benefit of the 9 percent depreciation of the Pula against the US Dollar experienced over the first half of the year was negated by its appreciation of 2 percent over the remaining six months.
“The Group further stated that during high season, between July and October, the Pula depreciated by 4percent against the US Dollar compared to the prior year. As a result, the significantly weaker local currencies in the first half of the year did not have a material impact on revenue, as initially expected,” reads the statement.
Wilderness Holdings Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Keith Vincent stated that with the delay of the renewals of key leases in Botswana now over, the Group has commenced the rebuilding of Mombo Camp, while the acquisition of their 51 percent interest in the Governors’ Camp Collection in Kenya and Rwanda proved highly satisfactory with pleasing results. He added that the Group has almost completed its building of the new Bisate Lodge in Rwanda, and has continued its substantial investment in IT systems and the repositioning of the Group in line with its strategy.
“The Group’s strategic intent is to invest in African tourism markets which offer authentic wildlife and safari experiences and where we feel our specific ecotourism model can have positive conservation and community impacts,” he stated.
The Group’s net finance costs were 114 percent higher at P9.2 million (in 2016 it was P4.3 million), being a consequence of the inclusion of Governors’, the increased debt to finance capital investment and acquisitions, as well as an accounting adjustment in respect of restoration costs provision.
The Group’s effective tax rate has remained steady at 38 percent. The tax rate is said to be higher than the nominal tax rate due to the higher tax rates applicable in other tax jurisdictions, losses incurred where deferred tax assets could not be recognised, as well as unrealised foreign exchange losses which are generally not claimable for tax purposes.
A final dividend for the year ended February 28, 2017 of 16.5 Thebe per share (15.2625 Thebe per share net of Botswana withholding tax) was declared on May 24, 2017. The Group stated that the dividend has been declared out of income reserves.