Hotel chain operator and Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) listed Sunbird Hotels and Resorts has said it targets to achieve a four star rating by end of this year.
The hotel chain’s chief executive officer Roger Gardner speaking in an interview after the company’s 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday at Sunbird Mount Soche said in 2013 their performance was remarkable considering the 2012 performance.
According to Gardner the hotel chain achieved a health dividend and plans to achieve meaningful improvement by end of this year including taking Sunbird to a four star establishment.
In 2013, according to the company’s annual report, Sunbird achieved 55 percent increase to K8.5 billion in revenue largely driven by higher room rates against a backdrop of new rooms at Sunbird Capital and Sunbird Mount Soche.
According to the company’s financial statements, in 2013 Sunbird increased its profit after tax by 162 percent to K457 million compared to K174 million in 2012.
During the AGM, the company resolved to pay a final dividend of K33 million representing K0.12 per share.
Including an interim dividend of K27 million representing K0.10 per share which was paid during 2013, Sunbird 2013 dividend totals K60 million representing K0.22 per share. The final dividend will be paid on July 11 2014.
In the company’s 2013 annual report Gardner notes that the growth was largely due to a healthy growth in the hotel chain’s occupancies, up 4 289 room nights year-on-year at 57.3 percent compared to 55.3 percent in 2012.
“Loan interest payments distort what would otherwise been a significant improvement in our profit performance and highlights the need to rid the company of this debt burden through a recapitalisation of our share capital base,” said Gardner.
Sunbird chairperson Leonard Chikadya in his 2013 statement said although the business landscape is far from stable, the company is cautiously optimistic that it is well positioned to also play a vital role in the tourism sector.
“We are also optimistic that we will make progress with our proposal for easing the company’s debt burden. This is an exciting prospect for the company as we will then have the necessary resources to refresh the hotels and maintain our leadership in the industry,” said Chikadya.