Picture: THE TIMES
Picture: THE TIMES

Botswana safari camp owner Wilderness boosted its profit after tax by an impressive 25% to 117-million pula (R156m) in the six months to August.

Wilderness Holdings is the holding company for Wilderness Safaris and Wilderness Collection, operating 45 safari camps and lodges as well as overland safaris in Botswana, Rwanda, Kenya, Namibia, the Seychelles, SA, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The group’s revenue rose 10% to 705-million pula and earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation expenses rose slightly at 2%. The strong profit growth was realised despite total revenue per available room falling 5%.

Cash generated by operations rose 13% to 218-million pula. Headline earnings per share were up 26% to 43 thebe. The rate of occupancies was down to 65%, from 66%.

The Namibia, Rwanda and Zambezi regions recorded strong growth and, when combined, contributed 30% of segmental profit compared with 15% a year ago. They reflected combined growth of 104% from 27-million to 55-million pula.

Botswana’s performance was down 2% and Kenya recorded a decline of 62% following the inclusion of "low-season numbers" for the period.

CEO Keith Vincent said tourism activity in Southern Africa was at high levels. "Our forward occupancy for the rest of the year is encouraging."

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