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Dolphin Cove readies marine parks for more traffic

Published:Thursday | May 12, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Marine attraction Dolphin Cove spent $130 million to upgrade its facilities in the first quarter, during which its bottom line also expanded.

The marine park operators are anticipating even more business in the periods ahead.

"We continue to expand our marketing efforts in anticipation of the additional rooms that are expected to come on stream during 2016, and there is the prospect of increased local sales with the recent opening of the Caymanas to Ocho Rios toll road, which will significantly reduce the travelling time from Kingston," Dolphin Cove said at the release of its March quarter financial report.

"We also anticipate that our newly enhanced website will continue to generate growth in our Internet bookings and, by extension, our revenue."

Dolphin Cove made $185 million in net profit, up 39 per cent from year-earlier levels. Revenue increased by 11 per cent due primarily to a 35 per cent growth in ancillary revenue, although the decline in ship arrivals had a "marginally negative" impact on the dolphin attraction's turnover.

Gross profit increased by 14 per cent as a result of the growth in revenue and a decline in direct cost of sales.

"During the quarter, the group made capital expenditures of $130 million to improve the facilities of the parks, which is expected to have a positive impact on our performance going forward," the company said.

Financial resources strong

Dolphin Cove's working capital totalled $440.2 million, up 16 per cent year-on-year. It holds total assets of $3.36 billion, with shareholder equity at $2.9 billion.

"The financial resources of the group remain strong and this will facilitate our plans to expand our operations locally and in other Caribbean countries," the company said.

Dolphin Cove was acquired by World of Dolphins last year, but its Jamaican founder, Stafford Burrowes, remains chairman and chief executive officer.

World of Dolphins owns less than 80 per cent of the company, leaving just enough shares in the hands of minority owners to avoid a delisting of the stock. As a junior market company on the Jamaica Stock Exchange since December 2010, Dolphin Cove is due 10 years of tax breaks - five of which have elapsed - but it also has to stay listed for at least 15 years in order not to incur a penalty.

World of Dolphins is incorporated in Barbados as a 90 per cent subsidiary of Controladora Dolphin S.A. de C.V. (Dolphin Discovery) based in Mexico. Dolphin Discovery, in turn, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ultimate parent company, Dolphin Capital Company S. de R.L.