Current political uncertainty caused by post-election disputes has resulted in revenue losses for the country’s flagship hotel chain, Sunbird Tourism Plc, the company’s published half-year results showed on Thursday.
Sunbird Tourism, listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) says its net profit increased slightly by 2 percent to K1.197 or K25 million on account of cost management, but the company has bemoaned loss of revenue due to political uncertainty caused by election disputes.
In published financial results for the first half of 2019 ended June 30, Sunbird says its net profit after tax rose marginally from MWK1.172 billion during the same period last year to MWK1.197 billion.
But total revenue for the group, which also incorporates Sunbird Caterers Ltd, fell 1.5 percent to MWK9.038 billion from MWK9.179 billion reported during the same last year.
“During the period under review, the hospitality industry, and in particular the hotel business experienced low demand partly due to the pre-elections uncertainty and post-elections disturbances and this in turn depressed the performance of most segments in comparison to the same period last year,” reads a statement accompanying the company’s financials and co-signed by Chairman Philip Madinga and Director Anderson Kulugomba.
It says the board’s focus is to improve service delivery, guest experience, refurbishments, and to intensify sales and marketing to ensure the tourism group maintains market leadership.
It says a number of key product improvements are underway while some have been completed. Completed improvements include room upgrades at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi and Sunbird Livingstonia Beach in Salima.
Those underway are the construction of a new 4-star 42-bedroom beach resort at Livingstonia Beach and state-of-art conference facility for Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.
Government is the majority shareholder in Sunbird Tourism, formerly Malawi Hotels Ltd. In terms of capitalization, plans are underway for government to offload some equity through the stock market.