Event Hospitality and Entertainment Limited (EVT) has posted a strong second half performance with profit growth across the Hotels and Resorts, Entertainment New Zealand, Thredbo and Property businesses.

The Group’s full year revenue improved by 1.0% to AUD$1,294.3 million and net profit after income tax was AUD$110.8 million, AUD$19.4 million or 14.9% below the prior year.

Normalised profit before interest, individually significant items and income tax was AUD$169.9 million, AUD$16.0 million or 8.6% below the prior year.

Despite the shortfall, the normalised profit was the one of the highest in the Group’s 107-year history, second only to the 2016 year.

In announcing the result, recently appointed EVT CEO, Jane Hastings, said: “We were pleased with the much stronger second half performance, normalised profit was up 6.4% on the prior comparable half-year period which assisted in closing the first half gap and delivering a full year result that was only 8.6% below the prior year.

“The completion of a number of hotel refurbishments that had impacted the first half assisted in delivering a second half normalised profit for the Hotels and Resorts segment of AUD$28.2 million, up 25.0% on the prior comparable half-year period.

“The Group’s Thredbo Alpine Resort also delivered an outstanding result, with normalised profit up on the prior year by 21.2% to $18.2 million.

“The Group’s Entertainment segment profit was down on the 2016 record year due to the soft film line-up, earnings benefits in 2016 that were not repeated this year and a key competitor site in Victoria which re-opened after being closed for two years.

“The German cinema circuit’s normalised profit primarily suffered from the disruption caused by the European Championships at the beginning of the 2017 financial year.

“The exception for the Exhibition segment was New Zealand which delivered normalised profit growth of 2.7%,” she said.

EVT Chairman, Alan Rydge, announced a fully franked final dividend of 31 cents per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 51 cents per share, consistent with the previous year’s total dividend.

Rydge said: “Jane is seven weeks into the role as CEO and has a good grasp on the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. Building on a strong platform, new concepts will be critical to our growth and we are already discussing new opportunities that will evolve over the short to medium term.”

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management