Sunbird Tourism plc chief executive officer Yusuf Olela has mentioned corporate market segment at 53 percent of total room occupancy as the major driver to push the listed hotel chain’s profit by 82 percent in 2017.
In an interview on Friday, he said this is followed by the commercial market segment at 21 percent.
“There is continued focus on these segments while initiatives to grow the other segments such as leisure will continue to optimise the potential of the different properties.
“This performance is on the back of a focus on our key strategic initiatives, mainly providing excellent customer service and enhanced sales and marketing activities,” said Olela.
In the year ended December 2017, the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed Sunbird plc posted a profit after-tax of K2.4 billion from K1.3 billion the year before.
The group revenues peaked at K18.9 billion, which was 21 percent above the previous year’s revenues of K15.7 billion.
The parent company increased its revenues by 20 percent from K14.2 billion in 2016 to K17 billion in 2017 whereas the subsidiary’s revenues increased by 30 percent from K1.5 billion to K1.9 billion in 2017.
In the year under review, Olela said the hotel chain carried out a number of product enhancement initiatives, including renovating Sunbird Lilongwe’s 94 rooms and refurbished them into modern room formats; acquisition of Sunbird Thawale in the Majete Wildlife Reserve in Chikwawa under management contract, renovated and refurbished Malindi Beach Bar at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi to an international standard, renovated Nyika Restaurant and introduced private dining at Sunbird Mzuzu, introduced Sunbird Premier Club and commencement of room expansion and refurbishment at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach in Salima.
Looking into the future, he said there are a number of key product improvement plans underway.
“The group is introducing water-based assets at the two lake resorts of Nkopola and Livingstonia. These will facilitate the water sports activities such as snorkeling, water polo, water skiing and fishing tours and kayaking,” he said.
The group is also constructing a conference hall at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre, besides a new four star 42-bedroom block at Sunbird Livingstonia this year.