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Center Parcs announces ‘robust' first results as a public company

14 July 2004
Center Parcs announces ‘robust' first results as a public company

Short-break holiday village operator Center Parcs today published its first results as a publicly quoted company.

The group, which attracts more than 1.3 million guests a year to its four holiday villages, achieved a turnover of £72.3m in the 19 weeks to 22 April that followed its flotation on the Alternative Investment Market last December.

Over this period, which represents the group's weakest season and was affected by two flotation-related items, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) came to £6.3m.

Profit before tax, goodwill and exceptionals came to £100,000 and the group ended the 19 weeks with a net loss of £13.2m.

Unaudited figures for the 53 weeks to 22 April showed "a robust operating performance and results in line with market expectations," said chief executive officer Martin Dalby.

Turnover for the year came to £227.7m, Ebitda was £39m, and profit before tax, goodwill and exceptionals totalled £24.4m. Accommodation accounted for 53% of turnover, while food and beverage contributed 22% of revenues.

Over the year, Center Parcs achieved an average occupancy of 93.3% and increased overall room rates by 7% and on-site spend by 6.5%. Bookings for the current financial year have reached 59% of the group's annual target.

It reopened the Elveden Forest Village in Suffolk in July 2003 following a £41m restoration to repair fire damage suffered in April 2002. The village's prolonged closure cost the company £6.2m in contributions on lost turnover of £12.8m.

Enhancements to the four villages included the building of 114 new higher-margin executive villas, along with new sports, spa and restaurant facilities. Since the year-end, Center Parcs has opened another 65 villas, taking the total to 3,271.

As well as expanding and enhancing its existing four sites, Center Parcs is actively seeking a fifth village in the UK and is looking for opportunities to expand its Aqua Sana health and beauty spas. It also plans a listing on the London Stock Exchange by the end of the current financial year.

by Angela Frewin

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