One of India’s leading leisure hospitality brands, Sterling Holiday Resorts Ltd. recorded a profitable Half Year with a consolidated EBITDA of INR 56 Cr and a PBT of INR 32 Cr with a total income of INR 184 Cr. This was on the back of a consecutive second quarter of profits this year with a consolidated EBITDA of INR 16 Cr for the quarter. The company reported an operating free cash flow (OFCF) of INR 46 Cr for the half year.
Compared to the same quarter last year, the resort business reported a 74% growth in revenues, powered by an increased guest ratio from 54% to 62%, increased occupancies at 53% compared to 46%, a 23% growth in room rates and a focused drive to increase food and beverage revenue while maintaining cost efficiencies. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, the resort revenues grew 48% with better occupancies and a 54% increase in room rates.
The membership business too has strengthened with higher down-payments, an increased average ticket size and with sales from variable cost channels crossing the 50% mark leading to reduction in operating costs for this business and thus increasing the EBITDA for this business to 48% from 30% for quarter 2 last year.
Sterling’s resorts have been rated very highly by customers – 23resorts are rated 4.5 or more (on a 5-point scale) on Trip Advisor, with 2 resorts consistently rating 5 on 5. 12 resorts are ranked No.1 in their destination. Sterling Ooty Elk Hill won the Tamil Nadu Tourism award for “Best Leisure Hotel”.
Talking about the performance after the first half of the Financial Year, Vikram Lalvani, MD and CEO of Sterling Holiday Resorts Ltd said, “We are seeing the industry moving back towards normalcy and are seeing pre-pandemic seasonality trends being restored. While the resorts in some parts of the country, especially in the North and East were impacted by the extended monsoon, we leveraged our pan-India portfolio to ensure that we ended the ‘leanest’ quarter of the year with profits. We expect the rest of the year to be more buoyant.”
Sterling Resorts is the only hospitality company to have launched a unique and proprietary platform (called Sterling ONE) that enables Channel Partners in the length and breadth of the country and employees of corporate clients, access resort availability in real time and make reservations at pre-approved rates at the click of a button. This has helped the company expand its width and depth of distribution to tier 2 and 3 towns and across channels.
In keeping with its vision to aggressively expand on an asset-light model, Sterling expects to announce a couple of new properties in the third quarter and has several other properties in the pipeline, to open in the near future.