John Keells Hotels PLC, the country’s biggest hospitality sector operator, with a portfolio of 1,337 four and five-star rooms in 11 hotels across Sri Lanka and the Maldives, has posted strong results in the year ended March 31, 2017, growing revenue six percent to Rs. 12.3 billion and operating profits eight percent to Rs. 2.25 billion.
Occupancy in the Sri Lanka resorts stood at 80% during the year while that in the Maldives at 89% enabling a superior result with the group profit after tax up to Rs. 1.86 billion from Rs. 1.75 billion a year earlier. The owning company said in its recently released annual report that its properties are sited in “several magnificent locations” in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
The company’s chairman, Mr. Susantha Ratnayake, noted that tourism was growing both here and in the Maldives with Sri Lanka posting a 14% growth in arrivals during the year while they were up four percent in the Maldives. Most of the traffic to Sri Lanka came from Western Europe while India and China continued to be the two largest source markets.
The Maldives saw a 10% drop in Chinese arrivals despite that market remaining the largest traffic generator accounting for 25% of total arrivals. But the drop in Chinese arrivals was partly mitigated by stronger demand from South and South East Asia.
Ratnayake expected that the growth of the informal accommodation segment both here and in the Maldives to continue together with the increase in star category rooms.
“In order to combat pressure from competition, your company will continue to focus on enhancing online bookings with Online Travel Agents and its own website coupled with a focus on digital marketing initiatives,” he said.
“Additionally, Sri Lanka resorts will focus on sales strategies targeting selected cities in India through our representatives in India to drive the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) market, particularly events and weddings.”
They will continue to position their beach resorts in the German and East European markets and will actively seek more guaranteed contracts. The Maldivian resort segment will seek to maintain market share in current source markets and capitalise opportunities arising from the launch of Air France flights to the Maldives from next November.
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