Comments from the CEO Mats Årjes

From the 2018/19 Annual Report

We have yet another excellent financial year to look back on. Although it is particularly pleasing that our core operations – SkiPass sales – have seen an increase of SEK 55 million, or 4.1 percent, compared with the previous year, it is the positive development in several business areas that isbehind the total revenue increase of SEK 140 million. Growth for the season can be compared with last year, when we had fantastic weather conditions and a 7.5-percent increase in the number of skier days. Considering this, we are delighted with this year’s earnings trend!

Our operations include development of land and property assets. We own more than 5.4 million square metres of land for development, much of it in excellent locations. We endeavour to maintain a good balance between the pace at which we develop our land assets and prevailing operations along with infrastructure development at each destination. We develop and sell plots for the construction of private holiday homes, we build and sell tenant-owner apartments, we sell weekly shares via our Vacation Club holiday concept and we also produce commercial accommodation. Our development operations and sales of shares in Vacation Club this year have made an earnings contribution of SEK 189 million.

Bookings for the 2019/20 winter season are slightly better than the same time last year. We see the highest growth in the foreign markets (notably Denmark and Germany), which is consistent with our strategy of increasing the number of foreign guests at our destinations.

Our digital focus is paying off, and we are concentrating on sales via skistar.com, which attracts over 14.9 million visits a year. Together with our app, which has been downloaded around 600,000 times, we are well equipped for digital interaction with our customers. We received high praise for our initiatives when, in mid-March, we were voted Sweden’s best site in the IDG Topp100, an annual ranking of Sweden’s best websites. The number of registered members of SkiStar’s MySkiStar customer club continues to rise and is now over 889,000.

We have much to look forward to next season, mostly because we are investing in our business to develop our ski product. Beyond that, we look forward to the opening of Scandinavian Mountains Airport, located between Sälen and Trysil, on 22 December. SkiStar is one of 33 shareholders of the airport. During the airport’s premiere season, we look forward to welcoming new skiers, not just from Sweden but also from Denmark and the UK, who will land at the airport just 10 minutes from Hundfjället in Sälen.

Over the past year, we have worked hard to define targets for the company’s sustainability work. We have the potential to be a leading operator in the alpine mountain tourism industry in terms of sustainability and in this way, we can also inspire others. For us, it is crucial to protect the unique environment in which we work, and we want to help give more people the same opportunity in the future. We have also improved our sustainability report through detailed work on quantifiable targets to provide an even clearer picture and create a collective sense of purpose for SkiStar’s sustainable development.

My position at SkiStar ends on 30 November, so this will be my last Comments from the CEO. I can say that SkiStar enjoys a stronger position today than ever before, not only financially, but also with well-established goals and strategies. The company has a management team with all the opportunities needed to continue developing the fantastic company that I have had the privilege of leading for 17 years as CEO.

I wish all our employees good luck in the future!

Mats Årjes

CEO*

 

* Mats Årjes has resigned as CEO as at 30 November 2019. Anders Örnulf has been appointed CEO as from 1 December 2019.

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