Results better than expected, head of trust says

Chris Ramsay
Chris Ramsay
With the country in the middle of a global pandemic, a small drop in sales could be seen as a positive, the chief executive of the Invercargill Licensing Trust says.

Total sales for the trust in August were down 9.1%, or $706,000, while the trading profit dropped $169,000 to $569,000 compared with the corresponding month last year.

Despite the results, Chris Ramsay considered it a good result as it was generated while trading under Alert Level 2 restrictions for a large part of the month.

"The best way to put it is our results are better than we anticipated they would be," he told the trust’s board meeting this week.

"Given everything happening, we feel relatively pleased with how we performed with all the restrictions we had in place."

The major contributor to the drop in sales was lower sales through its Queenstown distribution business, which were down by $606,000 or 36%.

Mr Ramsay said Centrepoint Liquor Supplies Queenstown supplied a lot of bars and restaurants in the resort.

The trust was also reliant on Air New Zealand’s direct Auckland flights.

"When we entered Alert Level 2, a lot of flights dried up [from and to Queenstown].

"If there is one key thing in our business that Covid-19 reinforced, it is the value and the importance of the regular flights for our economy," he said.

Sales in bars and restaurants were also down, by 17.5% and 3.9% respectively, reflecting the 100-person limit in place.

Mr Ramsay had already noted an increase in bookings for the coming weekend, since the region moved from Alert Level 2 this week.

"We noticed enough enthusiasm and excitement, which seems it will help us bounce back pretty well."

Despite business gaining momentum, he believed the trust would not be able to end the year with a positive result.

"I will be very surprised if our revenue was able to grow enough to get back to where it was and come back from the 20% fall that we currently have. I will be over the moon if it did.

"But what we are anticipating is that we will be down around about 20% at the year end."

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