26 Feb 2019

Tourism Holdings first half profit falls to $17.5m

11:37 am on 26 February 2019

Campervan rental company Tourism Holdings (THL) has reported a fall in its first half profit on lower vehicle sales and investment in its new digital business.

A campervan at Takapuna Beach holiday park.

Tourism Holdings first half profit fell to $17.5m compared to $22.8m the year before. Photo: RNZ / Tiana Barns

The company reported a profit of $17.5 million compared with $22.8m a year ago, as its group revenue rose 6 percent.

THL has campervan operations in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and Britain, as well as the Kiwi Experience backpackers tourist operation, and the Waitomo glowworm cave site.

In the past year, it's joined US-based Thor to create an online tourism booking and distribution, TH2, which more than doubled its losses to $5.4m.

"We have continued to see returns and profit improve in the core business and we see ongoing opportunities for improvements in our operating mode," chief executive Grant Webster said.

He said demand remained solid for the firm's vehicles and it was not detecting any material weakening in tourist demand.

"While there is some uncertainty about the growth rate for international tourism, we are currently still experiencing growth in forward bookings in all markets."

However, the company said it had not been acquiring new businesses as it thought it would have and that along with other uncertainties led it to lower its forecasts.

It is now expecting a full year profit of about $32m from the previous range of $32-34m and a long standing forecast of an annual profit of $50m by 2020 has been pushed out by a year.

"We consider this more certain than the acquisition and TH2 opportunities," it said in a presentation.