Wilderness sees finest trading performance

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“This lays the foundation for future growth both within and beyond the group’s current geographic footprint,” [DATA WIL:Wilderness Holdings] said.

“The business is vertically integrated offering international and regional guests unique experiences in remote wildlife areas by providing a multiple service platform of reservation, transfer and access, as well as accommodation.”

The tourism company, which is listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange as well as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, also reported a revenue increase for the year ending 28 February 2014.

Total revenue grew 16 per cent from 1.2 billion Botswana pula for the year ended 28 February 2013 to 1.4 billion Botswana pula for the same period in 2014.

“Growth came from organic expansion of existing businesses and is attributable to greater volumes of sales of independent product, increased yield per owned bed night and a benefit from depreciating local currencies,” the company said.

(READ MORE: African tourism continues to grow)

“However, the South African rand depreciated against the Botswana Pula by eight per cent, causing the inverse effect of reducing revenue on translation of the South African operation to Botswana Pula. The combination of the net currency movement contributed approximately six per cent of the revenue growth.”

Operating profit increased by 92 per cent to 92 million Botswana pula in the 2014 fiscal year from 47 million Botswana pula in 2013 and profit before taxation rose 138 per cent from 32 million Botswana pula to 77 million Botswana pula.

Headline earnings per share increased by 44 per cent to 16.07 thebe in 2014 from 11.13 thebe in 2013 while diluted earnings per share increased by 54 per cent from 12.79 thebe to 19.72 thebe.

“The focus of the past year has been on consolidation and organic growth, this is expected to continue on the back of the stronger US market and an improvement in the European market,” Wilderness said.

“Various opportunities for expansion both within the current geographic footprint of the group and beyond it into other regions of Africa have been identified and expansion plans are being considered. The market outlook on tourism in Southern Africa is positive.”