African Sun slumps to $1.5 bln FY20 loss

African Sun slumps to $1.5 bln FY20 loss

Harare, (New Ziana) – Tourism and hospitality group, African Sun Limited (AfriSun) slumped to an inflation adjusted loss of $1.5 billion for the year ended December 2020 as the group took a hit from effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2019, the group posted a profit of $839 million.

Due to low activity in the sector as a result of lockdowns which forced hotels and restaurants to close, AfriSun saw its revenue tumble to $1.84 billion from $4.10 billion the previous year.

Revenue per available room was down to $1 626 from $3 805.

“The Group recorded a low occupancy of 23 percent, representing a decline of 25 percentage points compared to 48 percent recorded in 2019,” chairman Alex Makamure said.

“Room nights sold went down by 52 percent to 137 162 from 288 224 reported last year. The decline in room nights was across all market segments, with those attributable to export and domestic reducing by 82 percent and 35 percent respectively.”

Shareholders suffered a basic loss per share of 174.64 cents down from earnings of 97.36 cents in 2019.

The group did not declare a dividend.

Makamure was optimistic the acceleration of Covid-19 vaccination programme and loosening of restrictions would unlock the industry’s fortunes.

“There are prospects of a rebound in the latter part of 2021 on the back of the current roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines and attaining of the required herd immunity,” he said.

“While we do not expect that there will be a quick recovery to previous trading levels, we are optimistic that the various cost saving initiatives and the renewed focus on improving the customer
experience, the Group will recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

As at April 15 this year, Zimbabwe had recorded 37 422 coronavirus infections and 1 550 deaths since the pandemic broke out in March last year.
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