Zermatt’s Lift Company Posts Best Ever Results
28th September 2019
Category : Resorts
At the Annual General Meeting of 27 September 2019, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG was able to look back on the best financial year in the history of the company. Thanks to a highly successful summer in 2018 and an optimum 2018/19 winter season, the record sales of the previous year increased by a further 9.3% to reach CHF 76 million in the 2018/19 financial year, with EBITDA at CHF 39.6 million (up 14.4% year on year at 52% of sales) and operational cash flow at CHF 35.6 million (46.8% of sales, up 16% on the previous year). Benchmarked against the most important indicators, Zermatt Bergbahnen ranks among the very best performers in the whole sector.
The dry and pleasant weather which marked the summer of 2018 was reflected in the operating result. Numbers of first admissions increased by 5% and sales by almost 10% to 25% of the total revenue from passenger traffic. Each month from July to September 2018 saw new record visitor numbers and sales. Revenue from transport in the winter business also saw a year-on-year increase of 9.1%. At the same time, the number of ski days went up by 112,000 or 9%, having generally stagnated in recent years. There is no doubt that the good winter result can be traced back to ideal circumstances, with good weather especially at weekends and excellent snow conditions.
The close of the financial year therefore presents record figures once again: operating profit rose from CHF 69.63 million to CHF 76.09 million, EBITDA from CHF 34.61 million to CHF 39.6 million and cash flow from CHF 30.68 million to a magnificent CHF 35.61 million compared with the previous year. In addition, the reporting period also saw investments amounting to CHF 53.9 million, which also represents a new high. The majority of this, CHF 36 million, went into the new Trockener Steg – Klein Matterhorn 3S cableway.
The company is using the excellent earnings situation to implement long-term high levels of replacement investment and necessary write-downs as well as guaranteeing dividends. Since the merger of 2002, a total of CHF 531 million has been invested in lift and rail facilities and additional infrastructure.
One salient feature of the unquestionably pleasing and successful business year was the opening of the new “Matterhorn glacier ride” 3S cableway. After only three months in operation this once-in-a-lifetime project has already surpassed all expectations. Other key elements in the company’s year were the introduction of dynamic pricing (over 30% of all sales in the winter of 2018/19 were achieved online), investment in Bonfire AG’s digitization projects and the agreement with the Swiss Foundation for Landscape Conservation (Stiftung Landschaftsschutz) which is a prerequisite for the construction of an additional 3S cableway from Testa Grigia to the Klein Matterhorn.
The construction work for this new 3S cableway, which will see the realization of the so-called “Alpine Crossing”, was already started in February 2019. It is scheduled to go into operation in the autumn of 2021.The Annual General Meeting re-elected all existing directors and Board Chairman Franz Julen. At the constituent board meeting which followed the AGM, the Board of Directors appointed Jean-Michel Cina as Deputy Chairman.
Markus Hasler, CEO of Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, commented on the record results as follows: “The figures show quite clearly that our long-term strategy based on uncompromising quality, the best service possible and memorable experiences, is the correct one. For us, it is both a challenge and a responsibility to pursue this course without deviation on behalf of our loyal customers.”
“In the years to come our investment planning envisages investments of around CHF 30 million in lift and snow-making facilities, pistes, digitization, marketing and the infrastructure on the Klein Matterhorn. Along with the high quality of our provision, these investments will help Zermatt to retain its position as one of the most famous, successful and popular summer and winter holiday destinations in the world,” said Chairman Franz Julen of the future prospects.