- Good activity level since gradual reopening of sites over the course of the 3rd quarter
- After a strong start to July, rollout of the vaccine passport in France and the closure of 2 sites in Belgium due to flash flooding creates uncertainty for the 4th quarter
- Liquidity position reinforced as of June 30, 2021
Compared with the 3rd quarter of 2018/2019, the last pre-crisis financial year for reference, sales for the 3rd quarter of 2020/2021 were lower because ski areas and the main leisure parks remained closed until they were allowed to reopen in staggered fashion between early May and early June, under health guidelines that remain restrictive: sales for the 3rd quarter of 2020/2021 totaled €37.2 million, compared with €171.7 million for the same period in 2018/2019.
Over the first 9 months of the year, which were marked by a winter season that was virtually devoid of sales at ski resorts and the closure of most leisure parks from the end of October until early May / early June, sales totaled €68.8 million, versus € 669.9 million for the first 9 months of 2018/2019.
3rd quarter: Consolidated sales for the Group from April 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021
The reopening of the leisure parks occurred in staggered fashion last year between the end of May and the beginning of June, whereas this year they reopened gradually between early May and early June. Sales for the 3rd quarter of 2020/2021 came to €37.2 million, versus €12.9 million for the same period last year.
First 9 months – Consolidated sales for the Group from October 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021
Compagnie des Alpes reports consolidated sales for the first 9 months of financial year 2020/2021 of €68.8 million, compared with €483.4 million for the same period of the previous year, which was not affected by the health crisis prior to the middle of March.
The 3rd quarter of this year was quite similar to the same period last year, with ski resorts remaining closed by government order throughout the months of April and May before being allowed to gradually reopen over June – a month in which ski-related activity is marginal.
Ski Area sales for the 3rd quarter of 2020/2021 thus amounted to €3.6 million, a total that includes the proceeds of a property sale (in the Grand Massif area) for €2.6 million. It is to be compared with sales of €2.3 million for the 3rd quarter of 2019/2020, which was positively impacted by reversals of provisions following the closure of ski areas on March 15, 2020.
For the first 9 months of financial year 2020/2021, Ski Area sales came to €6.1 million, versus €352.5 million for the same period one year prior, due to the closure of ski resorts for almost the entire period this year.
During the 3rd quarter of 2020/2021, Leisure Park sales amounted to €33.0 million, compared with €10.0 million for the same period last year.
This performance reflects:
- An increase in the number of operating days this quarter compared to the 3rd quarter of the previous year. In Belgium, for example, the four sites were closed for the entirety of the 3rd quarter of 2020, whereas in 2021, both Walibi Belgium and Bellewaerde opened on May 8th, while Aqualibi and the Bellewaerde Aquapark opened on June 9th. In France, Parc Astérix, Futuroscope, and Walibi Rhône-Alpes opened on about the same dates this year as in 2020. France Miniature and Grévin Paris opened on around May 20, 2021, whereas in 2020 they were closed until about June 20th.
- nearly doubled over the 3rd quarter this year compared to last year, for an equivalent number of operating days.
Sales for the first 9 months of the financial year came to €60.5 million, versus €113.2 million for the same period the previous year.
HOLDINGS & SUPPORTS
Sales for Holdings & Support for the 3rd quarter totaled €0.6 million, which is primarily attributable to the summer business of Travelfactory.
For the first 9 months of the year, the total is €2.1 million, compared with €17.8 million for the same period last year. The decline mainly reflects the impact of the health crisis on the business of Travelfactory.
LIQUIDITY POSITION REINFORCED AS OF JUNE 30, 2021
Over the course of the 3rd quarter of 2020/2021, Compagnie des Alpes continued to secure its cashflow needs thanks to the extension of its first government-backed PGE loan (€200 million), as well as the receipt of the partial offset of the fixed costs of ski lift companies (€165 million) and the successful capital increase with preferential subscription rights maintained (€231 million).
In addition, the Group obtained the agreement of its banking partners and bondholders for the suspension of its debt leverage covenant of 3.5x for the next two dates on which is scheduled for testing, i.e., September 30, 2021; and March 31, 2022.
As of June 30, 2021, aggregating the cash on hand (€442 million), confirmed and unused overdraft lines (€136 million), and the available revolving credit line (€250 million less the existing Neu CP issues of €51 million), the Group’s liquidity position is €777 million.
OUTLOOK FOR THE 4TH QUARTER
The 4th quarter is typically one of low sales for Ski Areas. The various resorts were able to open for the summer season in accordance with the official calendar (between June 5th and July 3rd) and the Group expects sales for the ski lifts for this 4th quarter of around €4 million.
For the Leisure Parks, the level of activity continues to accelerate over the course of the first weeks of July, approaching the level seen in financial year 2018/2019.
More recently, the decision by the French government to make access to sites contingent upon the presentation of a vaccine passport as of July 21, 2021, could penalize the recovery that has occurred up to now, even though this measure will not be applied to employees until August 31st and until September 30th for children between the ages of 12 and 17.
In addition, the Walibi Belgium and Aqualibi sites, impacted by severe flooding, were obliged to close their doors on July 15th. Due to the related damage, which is significant, it is not possible at present to determine a reopening date. In a normal season, these two sites represent approximately 12% of Leisure Park sales for the 4th quarter.
Considering these factors, the Group is not able to give more precise sales guidance for the 4th quarter of this year.
In the environment of crisis created by Covid-19, the Group faces many uncertainties which makes assessing the various impacts on Group results over the short to medium term extremely complicated. These impacts will depend on multiple factors, in particular the evolution of the pandemic, the preventive measures enacted by the governments of countries in which the Group operates, and the impact that this crisis will have short term on consumer behavior.
Upcoming events and releases in 2020/2021:
- Shareholders’ Meeting: Thursday, September 16, afternoon
- Annual Sales: Thursday, October 21, after stock market close
- Annual Results: Tuesday, December 7, before stock market open
 Net financial debt / EBITDA ex impact of IFRS 16
 As a reminder, the 2 Alpes ski resort is no longer consolidated by the Group since December 1, 2020.