RTG defies the odds, sets aside US$250,000 dividends pay-out

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By Alois Vinga

DESPITE the Covid19’s negative impact on the tourism and hospitality sector, leading hotelier, Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG), has set aside a total US$250 000 dividend pay-out for its shareholders over and above the Zim$ component.

The development comes at a time when most companies are struggling to oil recurrent expenditures in a development, which has seen most shareholders experiencing intense dry spells prompted by the need to keep budgets capitalised.

Times have also not been so easy for the tourism sector, with the Covid19 pandemic having significantly impacted the Zimbabwean market on the back of travel restrictions and lower demand from tourists leading to a massive fall in visitors, which saw the country losing an estimated US$690 million, according to the National Tourism Account (TSA).

The account was developed in partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organisations (UNWTO) and the Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Ministry as part of the Zimbabwe Destination Development Program with technical assistance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

But nevertheless, the RTG Chairman, Douglas Hoto this week announced a lucrative dividend pay-out for the group’s shareholders.

“I am pleased to advise shareholders that the Group has declared an interim dividend of ZW$380 million. A portion of this dividend US$250 000 shall be paid in foreign currency.

“The dividend shall be payable on or before October 31 2022A notice with details of the dividend payment shall be paid in the press,” he said.

Meanwhile, during the Half Year period ending June 30 2022, the group is optimistic about the growth prospects as presented by the opportunities in the tourism industry largely driven by the domestic market and the returning regional and international markets.

During the period, the group posted revenues of ZW$7,1 billion, 246% above ZW$2,1 billion posted during the same period in 2021.

Despite increasing pressures from inflation, the Group’s gross margins for the period under review closed at 72% which is 5% above 67% posted in the same period in 2021 with the improvement in Gross Profit margins being attributable to cost reduction and strategic pricing measures which were implemented during the period.

“The group’s statement of financial position remains strong .The current ratio has remained relatively strong 1, 19 from 1, 15 as at December 31 2021.Business volumes are expected to continue on an upward trajectory driven by the opening up of international travel,” he said.

Hoto said the group will continue to safeguard its profit margins through a deliberate cost containment approach taking advantage of the new business models adding that the approach will activate synergies with its business partners, continuous product and market development thereby creating sustainable value to shareholders.

“Hotel occupancy for the period under review closed at 48% which is a 100% increase compared to the same period last year.

“Business volumes improved significantly during the period under review buoyed by accommodation, outside catering and Heritage Expeditions Africa activities with the strong performance being attributed to conferencing activities across city hotels as well as the various Gateway Stream revenue channels,” he added.