We have extracted below the Chairman’s Statement from the 2019 half year report of Blantyre Hotels Limited (BHL.mw), listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange:
Overview of results
Revenue for the first half of the year increased by 1.4% to MK1.993 billion from MK1.966 billion realised in the same period last year. This was primarily due to growth in the food and beverage revenues. Direct expenses declined by 1.7% from MK887 million to MK872 million with savings registered on staff costs and efficiencies in the procurement processes. The company registered an increase of 19% on profit after tax from MK165 million to MK196 million. The increase in profitability was mainly due to prudent cost management.
The opening of new hotels in Blantyre has increased competition and strategies are in place to ensure that we maintain our market share through continued provision of quality service. We are also cognizant of the impact the closure of the main runway at Chileka International Airport can have on the business and robust mitigating measures are being implemented. We expect performance to improve in the last part of the year with continued strategies on strengthening our relationships with our corporate clients in order to improve the occupancy levels. Cost control and efficiency strategies on strengthening our relationships with our corporate clients in order to improve the occupancy levels. Cost control and efficiency strategies will continue to improve the operating margins further.
The Lilongwe Hotel Project Oasis Hospitality Limited was incorporated in March 2019 as the special purpose vehicle that will house the new 180 room hotel in Lilongwe. Professional consultants led by Eris Properties Malawi Limited have been engaged and prepared design concepts for the hotel. The hotel will offer the same quality services our guests have experienced at the Protea Ryalls Hotel as well as new amenities. Discussions with the landowner and all land processes are expected to be concluded soon. The Board is considering various financing options including the issuance of equity and debt instruments.
Marriott International Relationship Our guests continue to benefit from the relationship with Marriott International which owns the Protea Hotel brand. The new Marriott reward program called Bonvoy offers guests the ability to earn free room stays throughout the world in Marriott’s over 6700 hotels.
The Board of Directors has resolved to pay an interim dividend of MK84 million (2018:MK67.1 million) representing 10 tambala per share payable on 25 July 2019. The register of members will be closed from 5 July 2019 to 8 July 2019 both days inclusive and no transfers will be registered during that time. Members whose names appear on the register as at close of business on 5 July 2019 will be eligible for this dividend.
APPROVAL OF THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
The half year summarized unaudited financial statements were approved by the Board of Directors on 5 June 2019.
E A Malion