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Almond suffers setbacks, loss

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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ALMOND RESORTS INC. has been hit by a massive $20.4 million loss for the year ended September 30, 2010.
This compares to a $3 million loss for the corresponding period in 2009, according to recently released financial highlights for the company that is a member of the Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T) group.
Chairman Arthur Lok Jack and president and chief executive officer Ralph Taylor said while revenue increased by four per cent to $64.7 million, mainly due to direct bookings by the overseas operations, this did not result in increased profits as associated expenses matched revenue.
“Extraordinary charges for a provision for the receivable from Smugglers Cove and an impairment charge of $1.2 million relating to investments in Lazy Lagoon Holdings in St Lucia, together with the loss of 2009 credits for additional income of $0.7 million from the Tourism Industry Relief Fund, taxation credit of $2 million and $0.8 million in interest rebate from associated  companies, increased our net loss after tax [to] $20.4 million. . . ,” they said.
According to the report, excluding these one-off items, net loss after taxation would only have increased by $5.6 million.
Increased payroll
This would have resulted from higher property maintenance and utility costs of $1.4 million arising from increased occupancy and additional repairs undertaken at the Almond Village, increased payroll costs of $1.6 million based on union agreement and a reduction in inter-company interest income of $0.7 million.
Lok Jack and Taylor noted that occupancy levels began to stabilize towards the end of the year, and they remained focused on improving their results.
“While there continues to be considerable uncertainty as to the timing of economic recovery in countries around the world, we have started to see year-over-year increases in occupancy in a number of markets,” they said.
It was noted that the board had initiated a major enhancement project designed to return the hotel group to profitability.
“This project includes property improvements and is supported by a team of consultants assisting with revenue generation, yield management and improvements in operational efficiencies.
“Together with Government’s support for tourism and market diversification, we expect a slow but improved turnaround of the Almond performance, the benefits of which will take some months to materialise but should be fully reflected in 2012 results,” Lok Jack and Taylor said. (NB)