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thl Forecasts Earnings Recovery, Sees Future Growth From Chinese Market

November 28, 2013 Corporate No Comments Email Email

New Zealand’s leading tourism operator thl today forecast a strong recovery in the six months to 31 December 2013 and signalled its confidence in the potential for Asian markets to drive growth in New Zealand campervan rentals and tourism markets generally.

At its Annual Shareholder Meeting in Auckland newly‐appointed chairman Rob Campbell said thl is forecasting earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the half year to 31 December 2014 to rise 25% to $6.6 million from $5.3 million in the prior comparative period. The company also expects to reverse last year’s $0.5 million half year net loss after tax into a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $2.5 million.

Mr Campbell attributed the growth in earnings to the success of last year’s merger of thl’s New Zealand rentals business with KEA Campers and United Campervans and the continued strong performance of the US operation also assisted.

Mr Campbell said the thl board was focused on improving the operating efficiency of the business. It was challenging the company to deliver acceptable returns across all areas. This included taking out costs and continuing to reduce the vehicle fleet to a size that is appropriate to demand.

“We will deliver a proper commercial return of funds employed and we will do so no later than the end of the 2015 financial year,” he said.

Mr Campbell also paid tribute to past chairman Mr Keith Smith who stepped down from the board of thl at the end of the Annual Meeting, bringing to a close 15 years of service to the company.

Mr Campbell said: “Keith’s loyalty and commitment to thl are exemplary and he has made an enormous contribution. On behalf of thl I would like to thank Keith for all his work.”

thl Chief Executive Grant Webster said the company had made good progress over the six months and was encouraged by the level of forward bookings into the New Zealand high season, which kicks off this month.

“The New Zealand rentals business is focussed, energised and ready for what we expect to be our busiest season ever.”

Mr Webster said thl’s core markets are still recovering and showing some positive growth indicators in general. However opportunities to sell self‐drive New Zealand holidays into the Chinese market were continuing to grow. The legislative changes that came into effect on October 1st stopping loss making shopping tours was positive for operators like thl.

“The opportunity for China to be in the top 5 markets for bookings in our business is real and now expected,” Mr Webster said.

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