Jetwing Symphony PLC has felt the brunt of the coronavirus-related travel restrictions during the quarter ended March 31, 2020 but the company said it steadily restarted its operations with the ease of curfew and the gradual recommencement of economic activities.
Jetwing Symphony, the operators of five premium resorts and a city hotel in Colombo, reported revenues of Rs.452.8 million for the three months under review, down 26 percent from the same period, last year, as travel restrictions were imposed from the beginning of March around the world, to stem the spread of the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China.
Sri Lanka receives a large number of Chinese visitors and is the second largest market after India.
But Jetwing recently said that it is ready to welcome guests under the new health and safety guidelines as they are retraining their staff to adapt to the conditions.
“We are preparing to handle the emerging changes in customer behaviour by initiating training programmes to enable our associates to welcome future travellers, both local and international,” said Hiran Cooray, Chairman of the hotel chain, in late April.
The company reported operating profits of Rs.144.9 million for the three months, down 41 percent in the year earlier period.
While the scale and magnitude of the present crisis is unprecedented, Jetwing was among the hotel chains, which made a fast recovery from the Easter attacks last year.
Hence, Cooray remains optimistic of the trade’s recovery in the medium to long term, given Sri Lanka being among better-placed destinations.
“In the medium to long term, we are taking a much more optimistic view. We believe that Sri Lanka is one of the better-placed destinations for a wide range of travellers,” Cooray added.
Jetwing Symphony owns and manages five premium resorts— Jetwing Yala, Jetwing Lake, Jetwing Kaduruketha, Jetwing Surf and the latest addition Jetwin Kandy Gallery.
The company has a city hotel in Colombo Seven— Jetwing Colombo Seven.
In April, the company had zero occupancy, except at Jetwing Colombo Seven having occupancy of 8 percent, due to long-stay guests and a few guests getting held up due to travel bans.
Fitch Ratings recently said any pick up in the tourism trade is at least 12 months away. But recovery could also be sooner as people yearn for travel with the easing of restrictions.
There is a potential that the resorts get the initial bookings from domestic travellers, followed by the foreign travellers towards the fourth quarter of this year.
The company reported negative earnings of 14 cents a share on a net loss of Rs.70.7 million, compared to negative earnings of 17 cents a share or Rs.85.9 million net loss, in the year earlier period.
For the full year ended March 31, 2020, the company reported negative earnings of 90 cents a share on sales of Rs.1.53 billion, compared to negative earnings of 56 cents a share on sales of Rs.1.91 billion in the previous year.
The sales were down 20 percent for the year.
“The group is closely monitoring the liquidity position of all companies and have requested banks for debt moratoriums and working capital loans as per the Central Bank guidelines, which would give the company comfort in managing the future cash flows of the business,” the company said.
The Employees’ Provident Fund has a 7.06 percent stake in the company being the fourth largest shareholder.