By Enacy Mapakame
HARARE- Hospitality group, African Sun Limited is upbeat on maintaining a growth trajectory into the second half of the year after reporting a 134 percent jump in profit for the six months to June 30, 2017.
The growth will be driven by an anticipated influx in tourist arrivals into the country, especially the Victoria Falls coupled with a boom in conferencing.The second half of the year also covers the festive season which constitutes the peak period for the hospitality industry.
Already, Victoria Falls has seen arrivals improve by 40 percent following completion of the resort town’s airport expansion.
“The remaining part of the year falls into our peak trading system,” said group chairman Mr Herbert Nkala in a statement accompanying financial results.
“We expect conferencing and international market business to bolster performance, particularly in our Victoria Falls properties where inward foreign arrivals have been on an increase,” he said.
Meanwhile, African Sun posted a profit of $0,19 million for the half year to June compared to a loss of $0,56 million in the same period last year.Management attributed the turnaround to the growth in revenue, which jumped 17 percent to $21,01 million.
The revenue growth was as a result of an 8 percentage points increase in occupancy to 45 percent from 37 percent.Revenue per available room increased by 14 percent to $40 from $35 achieved in the prior year.
Occupancy growth was also supported by a strong performance from all markets with local, international and regional rooms sold increasing by 21 percent, 33 percent and 2 percent respectively.
Mr Nkala said the group would continue focusing on revenue generation and cost reduction initiatives to navigate the challenging business environment.