Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed Sunbird Tourism plc expects its performance for the year ended December 31 2021 to be better than the previous corresponding year by more than 150 percent.
In 2020, the listed hotel chain, which has nine establishements, reported a loss of K1.2 billion from a profit of K2.6 billion in 2019 due to adverse impact of the Coivd-19 pandemic on the tourism sector.
The group’s company secretary Allan Muhome, however, said in a trading statement on Tuesday that the information on which this is based has not been reviewed or reported on by Sunbird Tourism plc auditors.
“Sunbird Tourism plc results for the year ending December 31 are expected to be published within the time as stipulated in the listing requirements of the MSE,” he said.
In terms of MSE listing requirements, a company is required to publish a trading statement as soon as there is reasonable degree of certainty that the financial results for the period to be reported upon next will differ by at least 20 percent from that of the corresponding period.
This performance, according to market analysts, signals a process of the business environment returning slowly to normality as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry is better than the first wave.
The tourism and hospitality sector has been affected by Covid-19 with the 2021 Malawi Government Annual Economic Report indicating that by mid-2020, Malawi lost over K42 billion in revenue through cancellation of confirmed bookings and lost an estimated 300 000 jobs out of which 253 000 were direct jobs.
Reacting to the Sunbird Tourism plc projection, Minority Shareholders Association of Malawi secretary general Frank Harawa described the development as positive.
“It is our hope that the trend continues and as the country continues administering the vaccine, soon the Covid-19 issue will be history and things will normalise, including trade by the most affected companies.”
The tourism sector took the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as authorities took extreme measures of almost shutting down the economy to contain the spread of the virus by encouraging people to stay at home.