EVT has reported record results in its hotels business and Thredbo resort, driving 38.5% group revenue growth to $606.8 million in the first half to December 31, 2022, compared to the year prior.

The first-half revenue performance is 8.3% shy of pre-COVID 1H19.

“The half year result included a record Hotels and Resorts result on a like-for-like basis adjusting for the  upgrade-related closure of Rydges Melbourne, and a record result for Thredbo, up 41.2% on the previous record first half result for 1H19,” said EVT CEO Jane Hastings.

 “The Hotels and Resorts division achieved record first half revenue with all brands demonstrating a strong recovery and achieving better than fair market share.”

Hastings said the business experienced improved demand across leisure, corporate, government, and conference and events with the international market growing, albeit slowly.

“International group business remains subdued, however, and overall international visitation into Australia remains well below pre-COVID levels,” she added.

EVT’s strategy to include all segments of the market from luxury to budget accommodation prompted growth in the hotels portfolio.

“Our hotel network grew by five hotels and 354 rooms in the half year, and the fast-growing Independent Collection now comprises 15 hotels with 1,871 rooms,” Hastings said.

“Our flagship new budget hotel concept Lylo Auckland opened in December and is trading ahead of expectations with fantastic market feedback.”

Hastings revealed the upgraded Rydges Melbourne is expected to reopen towards the end of the financial year, while the QT Gold Coast upgrade is near completion.

“Early results are exceeding expectations,” she said of the Gold Coast property.

The EVT chief expects recovery trends to continue in 2023 despite challenging market conditions.

“Demand for the Group’s Hotels continues to grow despite a subdued international inbound market,” Hastings said.

“Thredbo, summer performance has been impacted by weather conditions and is tracking slightly below FY22 record year, whilst the 2023 winter performance is also expected to be in line with the 2022 winter, subject to snow conditions,” she said.

“Headwinds anticipated in the second half include the ongoing impact of energy cost increases and other inflationary cost increases. Overall, the second half is expected to show a continuation of the recovery trends demonstrated in the first half of the financial year.”