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Wed 26th Jul 2023 - Center Parcs reports best ever annual results, repays £440m loan plus £14m in premium settlement and interest
Center Parcs reports best ever annual results, repays £440m loan plus £14m in premium settlement and interest: Center Parcs, which was put up for sale by owner Brookfield in May, has reported its best ever annual results. The group, which is currently subject of a bidding process for a circa £4bn sale, reported revenue of £593.8m for the year to 20 April 2023, up from £503.4m in 2022. This compares to £480.2m in the last full year before covid, ending 25 April 2019. The revenue was split between £366.5m for accommodation (2022: £325.4m) and £227.3m for on-site spend (2022: £178m). Its pre-tax profit rose from £66.2m in 2022 to £87.1m (2019: £76.5m). Adjusted Ebitda grew to £275m from £245.6m in 2022 (2019: £232.6m), while £70m was invested into the facilities. No government grants were received (2022: £200,000), while dividends of £392m were paid (2022: nil). In the month prior to being put up for sale, it repaid £440m in A2 secured notes alongside £9.4m in premium on settlement and £4.8m in unpaid interest. Group chief executive Colin McKinlay said: “The Center Parcs Group has delivered its best ever annual results for the 52 weeks ended 20 April 2023. The business has a strong track record of resilience underpinned by strong guest loyalty. During the year, the demand for Center Parcs short breaks in the UK remained very strong, despite a backdrop of the rising cost-of-living, high energy prices and industrial action.” Highlights included total guest numbers of 2.1 million, with occupancy returning to 97.1% of pre-pandemic levels (2022: 80.5%). It also reported 93% guest satisfaction (those rating their break as excellent or good) and 95% guest loyalty (those indicating an intention to return). Average daily rate fell from £256.09 in 2022 to £239.28 but rent per available lodge night rose from £206.23 to £232.39. “While some of the macro-economic challenges we faced in the period will continue into the next financial year, we remain optimistic that Center Parcs will continue to demonstrate resilience across economic cycles,” McKinlay added. “We will continue to invest in our accommodation, innovate our leisure offering and introduce exciting new facilities for our guests to enjoy. The forthcoming financial year will see us continue to invest in attracting, recruiting and retaining the very best people to ensure we continue to deliver the very best guest experience we can.” During the period, the group issued £324m of new tranche A6 secured notes and £324m of new A7 secured notes, with part of the proceeds used to settle the £440m of tranche A2 secured notes in April. The UK Center Parcs business operates five holiday villages – at Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire – targeting the premium sector of the UK family short break market. Top performer in the period was Sherwood Forest, with turnover of £126.4m (2022: £108m), followed by Elvedon Forest with £120m (2022: £103.4m), Longleat Forest with £116.7m (2022: £96.4m), Woburn Forest with £115.3m (2022: £96.5m) and Whinell Forest with £115.2m (2022: £99.1m). Sherwood Forest created Ebitda of £68m (2022: £61.2m), Elvedon Park £61.1m (2022: £55.3m), Longleat Forest £63.1m (2022: £53.7m), Woburn Forest £58.9m (2022: £51.4m) and Whinell Forest £56m (2022: £52.5m). During the year, McKinlay replaced Martin Dalby as chief executive, having previously been chief finance officer, while Dalby became non-executive chairman. In December 2022, Katrina Jamieson joined as chief finance officer from Currys, where she had served as financial controller for more than three years. Last month, it was reported that private equity backer CVC Capital Partners, Pinewood owner Aermont and former Center Parcs owner Blackstone had pulled out of the race for the group. Still reportedly involved are Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Government Investment Corporation, private equity firm KSL Capital Partners and French-based infrastructure fund Antin. Center Parcs features in the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book. Its turnover of £593.8m is the 19th highest in the database. Its pre-tax profit of £87.1m is the eighth highest in the database. The Blue Book ranks companies by turnover, profit and profit conversion, listing directors’ earnings for the past five years. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription.

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