Tourvest hit by strong Rand; Hartshorne moves from Tourvest Duty Free – 22/02/04

SOUTH AFRICA. The strength of the South African Rand continued to have a big impact on results at leading travel-to-retail company Tourvest for the first half ended 31 December 2004.

During that period the average Rand rate appreciated by +12% against the US Dollar while the latter depreciated against the Euro and Pound Sterling by -8%.

For Tourvest, that means fewer passengers entering South Africa, especially from the key market of Germany, allied to a “general price downgrade by tourists”.

The company’s duty free operation performed below last year primarily as a result of reduced Rand receipts. In the UK the Virgin Atlantic duty free concession launched in May 2004 experienced start-up problems and only contributed marginally to profits. But the key South African Airways inflight concession traded well in US Dollar terms.

Group revenue fell to ZAR800,804,000 (US$139.3 million) from ZAR825,644,000. Operating income rose to ZAR78,171,000 (US$13.6 million) from ZAR74,695,000 last time.

In the Retail Merchandise division, income fell from ZAR42,562,000 to ZAR28,545,000 (US$5.0 million) for the same period in 2003. Revenue for the division climbed from ZAR300,356,000 to ZAR338,422,000 (US$59.0 million).

In related news, Finance Director Ian Hay resigned from the board on 21 February and will take up the role of Managing Director at Tourvest Duty Free. He replaces the popular Maurice Hartshorne, who now takes charge of the troubled jewellery division.

ABOUT TOURVEST:Tourism Investment Corporation (Tourvest) is southern Africa’s pre-eminent tourism group. It operates in both inbound and outbound markets with a range of products and services covering traveller needs. It is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Tourvest Duty Free was founded in April 1999, initially taking control of South African Airways’ duty-free inflight sales division. It is currently the concessionaire and operator for Air Namibia, InterAir, Kenya Airways, Kuwait Airways and South African Airways. It supplies Air Mauritius, Air Zimbabwe and the Duty-Free and PX Store in Angola.

MORE STORIES ON TOURVEST

Rand strength hits Tourvest ground and inflight sales – 25/11/04

Strong Rand squeezes Tourvest’s duty free and tourism businesses despite strong operational showing – 19/08/04

Tourvest offer to acquire Sure Holdings lapses but company remains on travel retail acquisition trail – 18/08/04

Food & Beverage The Magazine eZine