Gooderson aims to lift occupancy above 50%

Posted On Thursday, 24 July 2014 09:38 Published by
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Gooderson is looking to pump up occupancies to capitalise on its discounted asset base, and is taking no prisoners in terms of properties not performing to expectations.

Alan Gooderson

AltX-listed Gooderson's shares trade at an astounding 55% discount to its tangible net asset value of 115c a share. This is despite the firm which has operations in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga reporting a steady growth in profit and dividends for the past three years.

Writing in Gooderson's annual report, released this week, executive chairman Alan Gooderson said the company's strategy was to achieve a 15% earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) return on the R221m net book value of property, plant and equipment.

He said this could be attained by increasing the hotel group occupancy to above 50% as well as the timeshare division extending its good growth record of previous years. Gooderson increased earnings 32% to 5,26c per share in the year to the end of February managing unchanged occupancy levels of only 41% in the period but ratcheting up average room rates 14% to R744.

Mr Gooderson also noted that acquisitions over the past four years continued to record better revenue each year. But he said that a decision would be made "as to whether each one will be a viable proposition in the future".

He said that any business unit that did not perform to the company's profit strategy would be sold off. Gooderson CEO Gavin Castleman reckoned trading conditions would continue to be difficult in the year ahead.

"This has been apparent in the first quarter of the year as trading has been subdued due to business confidence being low during the lead-up to the (general) elections." Gooderson will spend R25m in the year ahead. The annual report shows about R18m is earmarked for "major expansionary developments" and R7m for maintenance capital expenditure.

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