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City Lodge eyes African expansion
Friday, 16 August 2013
Announcing its annual financial results for the year ending June 30, City Lodge Hotels Limited said progress was being made in further expanding the group’s operations in Africa.

Commenting on the group’s development pipeline , ceo, Clifford Ross,  said progress was being made in Kenya, Ghana and South Africa, with expansion investigations also continuing in the rest of East Africa and in several SADC countries.

“We have entered into non-binding memorandums of understanding in respect of development opportunities in both Kenya and Ghana with ongoing negotiations to finalise agreements in both countries,” he said.

“In South Africa, the acquisition of a site for a 90-room Road Lodge in Pietermaritzburg is expected to be completed in the final quarter of 2013 with construction anticipated to start shortly thereafter. Lease and development agreements are currently being finalised for a 150-room City Lodge at Waterfall City near Midrand – it is expected that construction will begin in the fourth quarter of 2013 and that the hotel will be opened in the fourth quarter of 2014,” added Clifford.

During the past financial year, City Lodge Hotels Limited increased average occupancies by three percentage points to 62%, underpinning a revenue increase of 11% to R976m and a 32% rise in normalised headline earning to R252m.

Cash generated by operations was 20% higher than in the 2012 financial year and return on equity was 26% compared with 22% in the previous year.

While the Courtyard Joint venture returned to profitability, showing a profit of R2.4m compared with a loss of R125 000 in the prior year, the Kenyan Joint Venture made a solid first-time contribution to the group with an equity accounted after-tax profit of R13.6m.

An operational highlight during the period was the opening of the 104-room Town Lodge Gaborone in mid-May, which, together with the Kenyan acquisition, increased the group’s overall room numbers to 6 755 from 6 440 in South Africa, Kenya and Botswana.

Looking ahead to the 2014 financial year, Clifford said the upward trend in occupancies had continued into the first six weeks of the year and the group was well placed to benefit from any increased level of economic activity.
By : etnw
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