By Jane Gondwe
Hospitality group Blantyre Hotels plc says it is progressing with preparations to construct a hotel in Lilongwe as part of its expansion plans.
In a summary of audited consolidated and separate financial statements for the fifteen months ended 31st December 2021 signed by Board Chairperson Emily Makuta, the group says it has finalized a subscription agreement and capital raise in respect of a majority portion of the estimated project cost.
Makuta states: “During the year, the project was granted planning permission approval by the Lilongwe City Council to develop the property.”
“The Malawi Environmental Protection Authority also granted the approval to proceed with the project in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Authority Act (no 19 of 2017).”
“The project developer is now finalizing the main contractor agreement and planning for site mobilization in fourth quarter of 2022 based on the revised development agreement.”
The group said it is committed to the implementation of the project, despite challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent devaluation of the local currency.
“The Group is finalizing the planning for its capital raise for the purpose of funding furniture and equipment for the new hotel,” says Makuta.
She also says the first four months of 2022 have started off positively as the group has performed better than projections for both revenues and expenses.
“We will continue to build on this strong momentum,” she says.
Makuta also says the macroeconomic outlook for the next twelve months looks promising as domestic and international travel gradually resumes and with the Government relaxing Covid-19 protocols therefore 2022 will be a year of recovery for the group.
“Our strategy is to drive operational excellence while personalizing the experience for our guests through the Marriot Bonvoy rewards loyalty program which will grow our business and drive profitability. We will continue to deliver excellent food and beverages and also improve efficiency,” she says.
Group revenue for the 15 months amounted to K1.97 billion which was 6% lower than the revenue realized in the 12 months ended 30 September 2020. Hotel occupancy averaged 23% in the period compared to 20% in the previous period. The decrease in revenues was due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.