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Country Club’s rich pickings from casino operations

The turn around strategy of the once loss-making, state-owned Windhoek Country Club Resort (WCCR) continues to bear fruit after the hotel posted a N$12.7 million operating profit in the financial year ended 30 April 2013.
The results were boosted by a strong performance in the hotel’s casino operations which saw revenue jump 15.4% to N$75 million compared to N$65.1 million in 2012. Revenue from hotel operations weighed in with N$42.8 million up from N$41 million in the corresponding period. Total revenue for the year, including finance income, increased 11.2% to N$119 million from N$107 million the previous year.
Although commendable, results show that operating profit was down from the N$13.6 million recorded in 2012 mainly due to an increase in property and marketing costs. In the year under review, the hotel continued with renovations and upgrading of facilities funded from own cash reserves.

Profit attributable to shareholders also saw a decline from N$5.8 million in 2012 to N$4.6 million as a result of an increase in deferred income tax. No dividend was declared for the year.
The hotel’s current liabilities decreased from N$51 million to N$26 million after management repaid in full the outstanding N$40 million debt it owed the Government Institutions Pension Fund in February ahead of schedule as management felt the facility was expensive.
Sven Thieme, Charmain of the board of directors of the WCCR thanked all the parties that contributed to the hotel’s positive results. He said the main highlight of the year was the repayment of the long-standing GIPF debt which had threatened to cripple the operations of the hotel.
He, however, noted that the year had not been without challenges. He said: “The ongoing global [financial] crises still affects the tourism industry and it is therefore more laudable that we can look back at strong results. We are further faced with increased competition in the market. We welcome competition and it has spurned us on to greater heights.”
Thieme said the hotel had to slow down its upgrading process as it was almost fully booked all the time.
“In order not to disrupt our client’s peaceful stay, we opted to continue with the renovations once we have a slower period in the next year,” he said.
Thieme added that management was looking forward to the refurbishment of the hotel’s bathrooms expected to start before the end of the current financial year.
“This will be an exciting project and we cannot wait for them to be done and to hear what our customers have to say. We also hope to do the public areas of the conference centre before the end of this financial year,” he said.

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