Dolphin Cove profit up 22 per cent

Published: Friday | May 3, 2013 Comments 0
In this January 2012 file photo, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu pets a dolphin at the Dolphin Cove attraction in Ocho Rios, St Ann. - Contributed
In this January 2012 file photo, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu pets a dolphin at the Dolphin Cove attraction in Ocho Rios, St Ann. - Contributed

Travel attraction, Dolphin Cove made $250 million profit for the year ending December 2012, an increase of 22 per cent year-on-year, the company's just-released financials revealed.

Gross profit hit $1.1 billion, up just under 16 per cent year-on-year.

"In aggregate, despite Hurricane Sandy, the parks maintained the profitability ratios of 2011 in 2012 but, as you will see from the segment information, the increased sales at Ocho Rios were exceeded by increased expenses," said Stafford Burrowes, chief executive of Dolphin Cove.

"There was, however, increased profitability at the other parks in Jamaica that more than offset this effect so that, consolidated, $61 million of the increased sales of $175 million reached the bottom line before tax," he added.

Dolphin Cove, principally owned and managed by the Burrowes family, is a series of parks themed on swimming with dolphins which began 12 years ago. It operates locally in Ocho Rios, St Ann, Hanover and Negril in Westmoreland.

It also has investments in Turks and Caicos Islands and Grand Cayman.

"Apart from our investment in the overseas sites, which are still works in progress, we also acquired more dolphins and this brought our capital spending to $165 million in 2012. We reduced long-term liabilities by $96 million and paid dividends amounting to $118 million, about 47 per cent of net profit," Burrowes said.

Gross revenues from external customers hit $972 million from the Ocho Rios business, $300.3 million from Hanover, and $85.8 million from other ventures.

Dolphin Cove has indicated its willingness to replicate the success of its local operations regionally.

"New parks have a long gestation period and we only embark on such projects when the markets are attractive, but it requires that funds be tied up for considerable periods before the returns can be received," Burrowes noted in the financials.

The company increased its return on equity to 23 per cent from 20 per cent over the review period.

"Our strong balance sheet and high working capital positions us to deal comfortably with our expansion projects through a combination of internally generated funds and prudent borrowing," Borrowes said.

The company receives most of its income in foreign currency, which protected its operations from the depreciation of the Jamaica dollar in the year under review.

"We believe that we are in the right industry in the right places," stated Borrowes. "Tourism can suffer temporary setbacks from time to time, but in the long run, it is enduring and we look forward to the emergence of millions of new entrants to the middle-income levels who can travel from countries with enormous populations," he added.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com

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