Markets Live, Tuesday 24 August, 2021

Caravan retailer Apollo Leisure and Tourism has delivered higher than expected revenue and a post-tax loss of $17.9 million, an improvement on last year’s $61.2 million loss. It did not declare a dividend “given the significant current and ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the business”.

Apollo says it still saw strong caravan rental activity in Australia and record sales, which were hampered by supply chain issues when Apollo’s factory in Victoria had to shut-down.

Apollo’s rental income has been hit the hardest by the pandemic while retail sales are doing well.

Apollo’s rental income has been hit the hardest by the pandemic while retail sales are doing well. Credit:Shutterstock

However, rental income was down 57 per cent across the group as travellers could not go overseas and book a caravan for their transport and accommodation. Total rental income dropped from $124.3 million in 2019-20 to $53.2 million in 2020-21.

In Australia, Apollo sold 514 ex-fleet vans for $27.3 million and $117 million new caravans, but rental income dropped 41 per cent to $26.1 million. In New Zealand, rental income dropped 64 per cent to $8.5 million, in North America it dropped 74 per cent to $13.1 million, but in Europe it was down only slightly to $5.5 million.

“COVID-19 has continued to disrupt tourism markets around the world, however, we can now see light at the end of the tunnel as vaccination rates rise,” chief executive Luke Trouchet said.

Apollo’s European and Canadian operations have seen the benefits of border openings, but Australia and New Zealand were ″⁣significantly disrupted” by the Delta strain.

“With retail forward orders currently at an all-time high, we anticipate the record levels of retail RV demand to continue throughout 2021-22 as people seek more freedom and control over their holiday choices,” the company said.

It would not provide guidance, however, but noted its fleet sizes were now smaller and international borders remained closed.

Shares are down 3.2 per cent in early afternoon, but may change after the management results call at 2pm.

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