Dol­phin Cove spruces up its prod­uct

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Steven Jack­son Se­nior Busi­ness Reporter steven.jack­son@glean­erjm.com

MA­RINE PARK op­er­a­tor Dol­phin Cove Lim­ited is ex­e­cut­ing a pro­gramme of up­grades and re­brand­ing in an­tic­i­pa­tion of in­creased busi­ness from the ex­pand­ing ho­tel sec­tor and ex­pec­ta­tions of more cruise calls by the Dis­ney ship.

Dol­phin Cove is re­fresh­ing its prod­uct amid a slide in park rev­enue over nine months to Septem­ber. Its other ser­vices, how­ever, have spun enough sales to off­set the de­cline.

Op­er­a­tors of the at­trac­tion have re­branded the Prospect plan­ta­tion tour — it’s now called Yaa­man Ad­ven­ture Park.

“We have in­creased the ca­pac­ity of our tour cen­tre and gift shop. We have also con­structed a new kitchen and ex­panded our mud buggy tour,” said the com­pany in its fi­nan­cials re­leased this week.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Dol­phin Cove Ne­gril has been re­branded Dol­phin Cove Mon­tego Bay and its of­fer­ings ex­panded to in­clude kayak­ing and Seg­ways, the re­port said.

The flag­ship Ocho Rios ma­rine park has im­proved its dol­phin in­ter­ac­tive pro­grammes and will be pro­vid­ing new din­ing and swim­ming pool ar­eas. The check-in area has been re­lo­cated and en­larged and the gift shops up­graded.

Dol­phin Cove earned $112 mil­lion for its Septem­ber third quar­ter or 12.3 per cent less net profit than a year ear­lier.

Over nine months the com­pany earned $457 mil­lion net profit, up from $412 mil­lion. Earn­ings per share over nine months to­talled $1.17 or 11 per cent higher than a year ear­lier. Group rev­enue rose 7 per cent over­all from $1.4 bil­lion to $1.5 bil­lion. Its core at­trac­tions, how­ever, saw a dip in sales rev­enue to $870 mil­lion from $930 mil­lion.

Dol­phin Cove said its top line per­for­mance was im­pacted by two events, both cruise sec­tor re­lated: a de­ci­sion by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to lower the net rate it pays the ma­rine park per guest; and a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of cruise calls to Ja­maica by Dis­ney Cruise Lines in 2016.

How­ever, the ma­rine park is expecting those sit­u­a­tions to nor­malise. It re­ports that its Mex­i­can owner was able to get Royal Caribbean to in­crease the price; and that Dis­ney Cruise Lines’ new cruise sched­ule in­di­cates it will re­sume its pre­vi­ous fre­quency of calls to Ja­maica in 2017.

UP­COM­ING SEA­SON

“Also, new in­creased rates have been ne­go­ti­ated with sev­eral cruise lines for next year,” said Dol­phin Cove.

As for de­vel­op­ments in the ho­tel sec­tor: “The ex­pan­sion at Se­crets (Dreams, Mon­tego Bay), Riu Mon­tego Bay, Roy­al­ton in Trelawny and Bahia Principe in Run­away Bay are ex­pected to open for the up­com­ing win­ter sea­son (over 1,000 rooms). We are an­tic­i­pat­ing very good sup­port from these re­sorts. These and other rooms be­ing built in 2017 will in­crease the size of our mar­ket,” it said.

Year to date, Dol­phin Cove has ex­pended $211 mil­lion of cap­i­tal on im­prove­ments — $70 mil­lion of which pro­cured live as­sets. Its capex so far is dou­ble the spend of $101 mil­lion up to the same point in 2015.

Last year, Mex­i­can com­pany World of Dol­phins ac­quired the ma­jor­ity stake in Dol­phin Cove from founder Stafford Bur­rowes and other share­hold­ers. Bur­rowes re­mains the se­cond largest share­holder through a ve­hi­cle called Gar­den House Hold­ings Lim­ited.

Ex­pan­sion into the Caribbean re­mains a growth area for Dol­phin Cove, which is al­ready try­ing to launch parks in St Lucia and Turks & Caicos.

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