- Bed night sales boost Chobe
- P48m paid in staff benefits
- Shareholders paid P44m in dividends
Eco-tourism outfit, Chobe Holdings Limited, has paid P77.3 million to the Government of Botswana for the year ending February 28, 2018, in taxation, Value Added Tax (VAT), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), resource royalties, lease rentals as well as licenses, information contained in the latest annual report reveals.
In Tax alone, government was paid P26.5 million during the full year ending February 28, 2018. In Value Added Tax (VAT), government was paid P24.9 million and a further P8.2 million in PAYE. P17.3 million was advanced as Resource Royalties, Lease Rentals, licences and other fees, bringing total payments made to government to P77.3 million. The Government revenue from the tourism outfit increased by almost P13 million from the P64.5 million it received in 2017.
Employees of the tourism outfit benefitted P48.5 million in net salaries, wages and other benefits, an increase of over P4 million from P44.9 million for the previous corresponding period. Shareholders of Chobe also smiled all the way to the bank after P44.7 million was paid in dividends by the 2018 full year. In 2017, the shareholders were paid P35.7 million.
The company recorded a 12 percent increase in revenue, due to the increase of bed nights sold, a marginal increase in achieved bed night rates in US Dollar terms and a reflection of the significant contribution from the aircraft maintenance division, during the 2018 full year, according to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jonathan Gibson.
Revenue recorded was P301.1 million. During the period under review occupancy increased by 6 percent when compared to the same period in the prior year, the CEO said. The performance is considered satisfactory in light of the increase in the number of camps and lodges in Botswana, cheaper alternative destinations in the region and reduced capacity as a consequence of continuing lodge renovations, rebuilds and refurbishments. Consequently, Profit before tax increased to P95 million compared to P85 million seen during the 2016 full year.
Gibson said the Group spent, from internally generated cash flows, P33.3 million on the purchase of additional equipment and significantly improving existing buildings and equipment.
Gibson confirmed, as previously announced that Ker & Downey Botswana (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, acquired the entire shareholding and shareholders’ loans in Dinaka Safaris (Pty) Ltd, Flavoured Properties (Pty) Ltd, Horizon Deep (Pty) Ltd and Sunbelly Ventures (Pty) Ltd with effect from 1st September 2017 for a cash consideration of P56 million. Subsequent to the purchase, Dinaka Safari Lodge was refurbished and reopened as a Ker & Downey branded lodge on 1st March 2018.
The Company took a 22 percent equity stake in Golden Wrap (Pty) Ltd, an aquaculture and crop farming entity operating in Kasane. The Company’s equity contribution, when fully paid, will be P6 million. Directors approved a phantom share scheme during the year ended February 28th, 2013 which allows the Group’s employees to participate in the dividend distributions of the Group. The scheme allows all qualifying staff to share equally in a bonus which is calculated to be equal to the value of dividends attaching to three million shares in the Company. A total of P1.5 million was distributed amongst qualifying employees during the year ended February 28th, 2018.
According to Gibson, the Group’s traditional markets of America and Europe are showing growth for the short to medium term future. There is potential for growth in newer and non-traditional markets such as the Far East and South America. The growth trajectory is however being negatively affected by delays in processing visas by the Botswana authorities.
Chobe Holdings Limited owns and operates, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, twelve eco-tourism lodges and camps on leased land in Northern Botswana and the Caprivi Strip in Namibia with a combined capacity of 317 beds under the brands of Desert & Delta Safaris and Ker & Downey Botswana. Safari Air, a wholly owned air charter operator provides air transport services to the group’s camps and lodges. North West Air (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned air maintenance operation provides maintenance services to the group’s aircraft as well as third parties.
Desert & Delta Safaris (SA) (Pty) Ltd, another wholly owned subsidiary operating in South Africa, provides reservation services to the group. In the current year, the group acquired, through its wholly owned subsidiary Ker and Downey Botswana (Pty) Ltd, a private game reserve called Dinaka Safaris. This entity and its associated lease holding companies hold 18,000 hectares of adjoining land in the Hainaveld area on the northern boundary of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The entity operates a 16 bed camp.