Effects of the Covid-19 pandemic did not spare Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)- listed counters in the hospitality sector in the just- ended year as reflected in fluctuating share prices and performance of the counters, published statements show.
MSE market reports indicate that the share price for Sunbird Tourism plc, which owns a number of hotels and lodges, fell to K105 from K118 while that of Blantyre Hotels Limited (BHL) plc, owners of Ryalls Hotel which trades as Protea Hotel by Marriott Blantyre Ryalls, has been fluctuating between K12.93 and K12.95 between January last year to date.
Meanwhile, Sunbird has indicated it is expecting to make a loss for the year ending December 31 2020, which will be 150 percent lower than the profit reported in the previous corresponding period due to the impact of Covid-19 on the business.
In 2019, the company’s profits increased to K2.595 billion from K2.562 billion the previous year.
On its part, BHL also said in statement that it is expecting to make a loss for the year ending September 30 2020 compared to the profit reported in the previous corresponding period.
BHL attributed this to the impact of Covid-19, which has adversely affected the business.
In 2019, BHL profit after tax jumped 33 percent to K467 million from K352 million in the previous year.
The tourism sector has taken the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic with authorities taking extreme measures of almost shutting down the economy to contain the virus by encouraging people to stay at home as one way of curbing the spread.
Bridgepath Capital Limited chief executive officer Emmanuel Chokani earlier indicated that the losses in the sector were anticipated given the effects of the pandemic.
Last year, the Department of Tourism indicated that about 35 000 workers in the tourism sector lost their jobs due to business slowdown and closure following the pandemic.
In 2019, the tourism sector registered a 4.8 percent growth.