SKISTAR: STANDS THE FINANCIAL YEAR AFTER A REGISTRATION WINTER IN SWEDEN AND SUMMER SUCCESS – HISTORICALLY HIGH BOOKINGS FOR THE WINTER SEASON OF +10 PERCENT
September 2020-August 2021
During the financial year, SkiStar updated its strategic plan and relocation of the SkiStar winter ski lift company as a SkiStar year-round mountain tourism company with a focus on Scandinavia.
Focus on the summer during the fourth quarter resulted in higher guest numbers, which led to increased sales in all revenue categories.
On July 1, SkiStar took over the operation of six hotels and lodges in the Scandinavian mountain resorts and created a new business area: Operation of Hotels.
The result continues to be negatively affected by the absence of foreign guests, mainly in Norway, due to the pandemic and entry rules.
Net sales for the fourth quarter amounted to SEK 246 M (162), an increase of SEK 83 M (51 percent) compared with the previous year.
Profit after tax was SEK 80 M (-101), an increase of SEK 180 M (180 percent) compared with the previous year.
Operating profit was positively affected by SEK 198 million regarding transfers of hotel properties, building rights and indirectly jointly owned (50%) companies, all through transfers to the already established joint venture company Skiab Invest AB.
Earnings per share amounted to SEK 0.87 (-1.23).
Net sales for the full year were SEK 2,751 (2,794) million, a decrease of SEK 44 million (2 percent) compared with the previous year.
Profit after tax amounted to SEK 234 (287) million, a decrease of SEK 53 million (19 percent) compared with the previous year.
Earnings per share amounted to SEK 3.04 (3.71), a decrease of 18 percent.
The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of SEK 1.50 (0) per share, a total of SEK 118 (0) million.
Comments from CEO Stefan Sjöstrand:
We end a year where we have given positive results, in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, with an extremely strong momentum in business development, acquisitions and divestments. All Swedish and Norwegian destinations remained open during the winter season with more new guests visiting us. However, the absence of foreign guests has had a negative effect on our revenues. Our new focus on the summer months, with SkiStar Sports & Adventures, has contributed to more summer guests.
To strengthen our position as the leading tour operator for Scandinavia, we completed two major strategic transactions during the year. The first was the sale of our majority ownership in the ski resort of St. Johann in Tirol in Austria, which we expect to end soon. The second was a deepening of our collaboration with Peab in Skiab Invest AB, where we together own the six best hotels and cottages in Sälen, Trysil and Hemsedal. As a result of the transaction, SkiStar will operate all hotels in a new hotel department from 1 July. The transaction means that we can offer our guests an even better overall experience when they visit us. In December 2021, we will open our latest addition: SkiStar Lodge Hundfjället, a completely new lodge in Sälenbergen and an important part of the development of SkiStar Sälen into an international mountain resort.
The new focus on the summer season was among the drivers, which enabled us to increase our sales for the fourth quarter to SEK 246 (162) million. The strong influx of guests has resulted in an increase in all revenue categories, and we are also seeing additional revenue from our new hotel business.
It is very gratifying to be able to report a profit after tax of SEK 234 (287) million for the full year 2020/21 in an industry affected by the pandemic and restrictions on travel and socializing. The absence of foreign guests, especially in Norway, has a negative effect on earnings.
Our cooperation and our dialogue with the business community, healthcare, the authorities and our ski associations before the winter season ensured that we were well prepared for another Covid-adapted winter season. At the same time, we invested in digitization, including digitized check-in and check-out and purchase of SkiPass, which has been appreciated by our guests. I am very proud of our Covid-safe precautions, which resulted in almost 90 percent of our guests feeling safe when they stayed with us, which is proof of the hard work our employees put into giving our guests memorable mountain experiences . It is also particularly gratifying that 7 percent of our guests were new to SkiStar during the winter season.
As a further step in SkiStar’s strategic shift from a ski lift company to a year-round tourist company, we launched SkiStar Sports & Adventures in the summer of 2021, with a range of activities such as track cycling, climbing parks and lift-assisted hikes. Interest in accommodation and active holidays throughout the year is still high, which is also reflected in our visitor figures: 30 percent more visitors used the lift system and activities on the mountain in the summer of 2021 than last year. We also see that as many as one in four of our visitors have not visited us earlier in the summer and one in three have not visited us in the winter either. This creates a number of opportunities for increased numbers of visitors and revenue both summer and winter.
Our retail business continues to grow strongly, especially online at skistarshop.com, with growth of 16 percent during the financial year. Our digital platforms (skistar.com, skistarshop.com and SkiStar App) had 32 million visits during the year, an increase of 14 percent. The number of MySkiStar members reached 1.3 million (+36 percent).
We have taken several steps forward in the area of sustainability this year, with a new sustainability strategy that includes ambitious goals to reduce our emissions by 50 percent by 2030, while more people move. We do this by offering more activities at our destinations all year round, and also in dialogue and interaction with our stakeholders and partners.
Interest in alpine tourism in Scandinavia is greater than ever as we approach winter, with many bookings early and many foreign guests, especially from Denmark, returning when travel restrictions are eased. This means that our bookings for the winter of 2021/22, expressed as the number of overnight stays booked via SkiStar’s housing agency, are 10 percent higher than the same period last year. With the winter season 2018/19 as the comparative period, the increase is even greater by 15 percent, which indicates that the recovery is accelerating and the trend for stays is here to stay.
We are better equipped than ever for the coming financial year and have successfully conducted our business during two summer seasons and two winter seasons during the pandemic. Despite Covid-19, we have confidence in all the experience and knowledge we have built up as a company during this sometimes challenging period. Our core business is to go alpine skiing, spend time outdoors in the fresh air and have an active holiday with family and friends, sticking to unfavorable conditions, both today and in the future.
This information is information that SkiStar AB is obliged to publish in accordance with the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Swedish Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication through the contact persons below, on October 1, 2021, at 07.30 CET.
More information can be accessed from:
Stefan Sjöstrand, CEO, tel +46 (0) 280 841 60.
Anders Örnulf, CFO, tel +46 (0) 280 841 60.
SkiStar in brief
SkiStar AB (publ) is listed on the Mid Cap list on the Nasdaq Stockholm Stock Exchange. The Group owns and operates alpine ski resorts in Sälen, Vemdalen, Åre and Hammarbybacken (Stockholm) in Sweden, Hemsedal and Trysil in Norway and St. Johann in Tirol in Austria. The business is divided into three segments: operation of ski resorts, property development and development and operation of hotels. As the leading holiday tour operator for Scandinavia, SkiStar’s business concept is to create memorable mountain experiences, develop sustainable travel destinations, offer accommodation, activities, products and services of the highest quality with our guests in focus. More information is available at www.skistar.com/en/corporate.