African Sun occupancies improves in Q3 as government relaxes COVID-19 restrictions

  • Occupancies improved from 5% in Q2 to 14% in Q3
  • YTD occupancy was down 28%
  • Group expects a surge in domestic and regional tourism going forward

HARARE – For the third quarter ended Spet.30 (Q3’20), African Sun Limited recorded a year-over-year occupancy decrease of 37%, but an improvement from 5% in Q2 to 14% in Q3, largely driven by the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, together with a number of promotional initiatives by the Group to improve demand.

“The third quarter (“Q3”) results reflect an encouraging improvement from the second quarter (“Q2”) amid the intractable impacts of COVID-19”, said company secretary Venon Musimbe.

Musimbe continued: “The Group more than doubled the number of room nights sold from 8,144 in Q2 to 20,329 in Q3, with domestic demand being driven by Government and Non-Governmental Organizations”.

Highlights of the report shows that Inflation adjusted revenues for Q3 were down 78% at ZWL260.88 million against SPLY.

Year to date occupancy was down 28 percentage points, compared to the prior year while inflation adjusted revenue for the period decreased by 62% at ZWL965.3 million against SPLY.

“The decrease is attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related reduction in global travel and tourism, which required the complete suspension of all hotel operations at some point during the nine months ended 30 September 2020. Going forward, cost containment initiatives adopted in Q2 and Q3 are expected to drive our cash preservation mode in Q4 and beyond,” said Mr Musimbe.

Operationally, the Group has now opened all of its hotels after the COVID-19 induced closures earlier this year.

Mr Musimbe said that the Group expects the September and October 2020 relaxation of travel restrictions to boost domestic and regional demand going forward, international business is expected to remain subdued over the coming months due to the resurgence in COVID-19 cases in key source markets.

“This second wave of infections requires continued diligence and dexterity to manage costs and preserve cash. However, we remain cautiously optimistic that we will continue to see a modest uplift in domestic and regional demand in the short term.”

Meanwhile, the Group is on the verge of acquiring up to 100% stake in Dawn Properties Limited following approval from shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting (“EGM”) held on 13 October 2020.

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