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Motorhomes clock up profits for Tourism Holdings

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Monday 4th September 2000

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Tourism Holdings says the acquisition of the Britz motor home rental business was a major driver in more than doubling this year's profit to nearly $15 million.

The company says the purchase has pushed profitability, enhanced earnings stability, and positioned the company for further growth.

THL have made an after tax surplus of $14.8 million for the year to the end of June on turnover of $195 million. The figures compare with a profit of $6.7 million on $167 million turnover last year.

The company's directors say they are pleased with the result in a year which was difficult for many of New Zealand's tourist operators.

While the country received plenty of international publicity from events such as APEC, the Millennium and the America's Cup, the company says these major events disrupted normal international tourism arrival patterns.

It says this disruption meant profit was $3 million lower than forecast at the time of a rights issue last October.

However THL says once the Sydney Olympics are over, normal tourism trading patterns should resume and the company should attain the profit projected for the year ended 30 June 2001 in the prospectus of $26.8 million.

In terms of division earnings, tourism rental turnover grew 80% over last year, a figure that includes Britz motorhomes in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, with the Austrlian market proving the star performer.

The coach division results were held back by a competitive market, increased fuel costs and the impact of the Fiji coup, but still produced a 24% increase in earnings before interest and tax.

The company's tourism experiences division - which includes ventures such as Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World, Waitomo Glow Worm Caves and Aoraki/Mt Cook ski planes - had a fall in ebit, from $7.8 million last year to $7.5 million.

THL says the drop off was entirely attributable to its aviation experiences, which saw profit fall as a result of loss of flying days due to poor weather conditions in the peak months, and to some unexpected additional maintenance costs.

A 5 cents per share dividend has been announced.

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