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Falling sales, profit at Ocho Rios drag on Dolphin Cove

Published:Friday | March 11, 2016 | 12:00 AMCamilo Thame
Trainer Dujon Sharpe instructs Mitch, the dolphin, to do a flip at the Dolphin Cove marine park in Ocho Rios.

Dolphin Cove's Ocho Rios water park incurred its first loss in three years.

The marine tourist attraction located in St Ann reported a loss of $14 million (US$120,000) from $258 million (US$2.15 million) in sales during the three months to December 2015.

That's down from $154 million (US$1.36 million) in profit from $291 million (US$2.57 million) of sales in the comparative quarter the year before.

Dolphin Cove last reported a loss of $4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The worsened performance reflects declining sales that began to trend downwards in the second quarter of 2015 and falling profitability, which started that trend earlier in the year.

In US dollar terms, the Ocho Rios attraction saw flat sales in the first quarter of 2015, a nine per cent reduction in revenue in the second quarter, followed by an eight per cent decline in the third quarter ending September. Sales fell more sharply - by 16 per cent in US dollar terms - in the last quarter of 2015.

Earnings for the marine park was 19 per cent below year-earlier levels in the first quarter and was down by 29 per cent in the second quarter. During the third quarter, profit after tax increased by nine per cent over the corresponding period in 2014.

For its Negril location, Dolphin Cove's revenue continued to grow for a third year running, while its net profit of US$1 million is the highest it earned on record.

So, too, were the US$1.7 million in revenue and US$430,000 earnings reported for the business segment classified as 'Other'. Those operations include dolphin programmes at the Half Moon and the Moon Palace resorts, where a gift shop is also operated, and dune buggy, horseback and plantation tours, which include camel rides, ostriches and a butterfly enclosure, offered at Prospect, St Ann.

Overall, Dolphin Cove, which was acquired from Stafford Burrowes by World of Dolphins Inc at the end of last year, posted $406 million (US$3.5 million) net profit from $1.17 billion (US$10 million) sales in 2015, compared to $440 million (US$4 million) earnings from $1.16 billion (US$10.5 million) in revenue the previous year.

Burrowes remains a minority partner and head of the company.

camilo.thame@gleanerjm.com