Event Hospitality says it is disappointed that the Australian government has not followed New Zealand’s lead and reinstated JobKeeper, with the film and tourism sectors hit hardest by COVID lockdowns and restrictions .
The $ 2 billion firm this morning praised New Zealand for moving quickly in the face of the latest lockdowns to reinstate its wage subsidy program, while noting that the German government’s transition assistance programs, the Fund culture and the Kurzarbeit (Short-term work) program had been essential for maintaining employment in Germany.
Event has the largest cinema tours in Australia, New Zealand and Germany under the Event Cinemas, Birch Carroll and Coyle, Greater Union, Moonlight Cinemas, Skyline Drive-In, Rialto Cinemas and CineStar brands.
It also operates the Thredbo Alpine Resort and the Rydges hotel chain.
Event’s revenue fell by a third in fiscal 2021 to $ 692 million, even as the company claimed $ 112.5 million in government wage subsidies from the three governments. This was an increase from the $ 38.1 million in grants requested in 2019-2020.
The grants helped the company reduce its annual loss to $ 48 million from losses of $ 57 million a year ago, while also continuing a cost management program that has now saved $ 264 million since. the start of the pandemic.
Event will not pay a final dividend, after removing its payment a year ago.
Chairman Alan Rydge said the company intends to resume payments in 2022.
During the year, senior management offered salary reductions, did not earn any short-term incentives and the long-term incentive plan was not vested.
Mr. Rydge waived his fees from April 2020 to June 2021 and other directors have accepted voluntary reductions during that time.
Chief Executive Officer Jane Hastings was optimistic despite the pandemic’s continued toll on the company.
“We remain confident that once the restrictions are lifted, the rapid and strong rebound seen in the second half of the year will continue,” said Ms Hastings.
“Our hotels outperform the local market, there is a strong lineup of films to release when theaters can reopen and Thredbo’s new business model provides a solid foundation for growth.”
Mr. Rydge is the major shareholder of Event with a 26.4% stake, and he is also the chairman and major shareholder of Carlton Investments, which owns an additional 19% of Event.
The company was worth $ 2.3 billion before the pandemic hit. It lost more than half of its value in the March 2020 COVID crash.
The company has recovered its way over the past 18 months and at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, shares of the event were up 4.4% to $ 13.01, approaching the post-COVID peak of $ 13.49 in May. .
Last week, Wilsons predicted that the event would likely be added to the ASX 200 during the quarterly rebalance announced on September 3.