Travel resurgence aids Skyline

Some of Skyline Queenstown’s 36 10-seater Doppelmayr gondola cabins pictured from the upper...
Some of Skyline Queenstown’s 36 10-seater Doppelmayr gondola cabins pictured from the upper terminal following June’s official opening. PHOTO: RHYVA VAN ONSELEN
A resurgence in travel has delivered "very good numbers" to Skyline Enterprises’ properties and Skyline Queenstown has recovered the two months of lost earnings due to the gondola changeover, the company’s half-year financial results say.

Revenue of $106 million for the six months to September 30 was 16% ahead of last year and slightly better than the budget.

Underlying trading earnings before interest and tax were $29.6m, a 13% increase on last year.

The Skyline Queenstown gondola changeover, which took place at the start of the financial year, was a success and the installation and commissioning was in time for the critical July school holiday period.

Development work had now entered the next phase. The bottom gondola terminal was completed in late October and the new carpark was due to open in April.

Work had also begun on the restaurant extension.

Construction costs on completion in late 2027 were projected to be close to $295m while other costs, including the new luge chairlift constructed in 2017 and forestry works, brought the total closer to $310m.

Christchurch Casino has had a challenging trading period. Visitation was strong but spend per customer was down.

Skyline Rotorua was delivering "tremendous" results ahead of expectation this year, mostly from domestic visitors, the update said.

Construction of Skyline’s new luge development in Malaysia was close to completion, while further progress was being made on the company’s first site in the United Kingdom.

Plans for a site in Swansea, Wales, included a gondola, luge, zipline and mountainbiking facilities.

An initial concession application and preliminary designs for "an exciting new opportunity" in Spain had recently been completed.

The trading environment in South Korea continued to be challenging, althought the company was confident a combination of increased international visitation to South Korea and the quality and innovation Skyline brought to the luge product meant it would ultimately outperform its competitors, but it would endure lower returns in the short term.

In Singapore, Skyline’s luge operation on Sentosa Island continued to benefit from renewed international travel and financial performance was well ahead of budget this year.

Its two seasonal operations in Canada produced record trading results during the summer season.

Skyline’s property portfolio was in "good shape" and there were good gains in rent levels and a healthy tenant mix across the group.

The upgraded O’Connell’s complex was gaining momentum as the DFS Retail group built its customer base and the Eatspace dining hall was finding its niche in the Queenstown hospitality market.

A new property had been added this year; Coronet View Apartments would provide much needed accommodation for Skyline Queenstown staff and ease the pressure when recruiting and retaining employees.