Comments from the CEO Stefan Sjöstrand

From SkiStar's Half-Year Report September 2021-February 2022.

SkiStar reports its best half-year result ever:
- Visitor and sales records behind the success

Cold temperatures in Scandinavia during the autumn meant we were able to produce a lot of snow and open the winter season as early as the end of November. Vemdalen came first, followed closely by all other destinations in early December.

As we summarise parts of the winter season and SkiStar’s first six months of the 2021/22 financial year, it is extremely gratifying that we can report a profit before tax of SEK 573 million, SEK 434 million higher than last year and the best half-year result in the company’s history. This was primarily driven by growth in our core operations, thanks to a record number of skiing visitors to our destinations. This means that we are also seeing a sharp increase in the number of skier days during the season so far – a total of 4.4 million – an increase of 43% compared with the same period last year.

We have also seen record sales of all products linked to alpine skiing, such as the SkiPass, ski rental and sales from sporting goods outlets, both physically, online and, not least of all, from our own brand EQPE, which increased sales by 73% during the past six months. The fact that 9 percent of our guests were new is totally unique and bodes very well for the future. Furthermore, 22 percent of guests stated in our guest surveys that they had returned after a break of several years. The surveys also showed that 8 out of 10 guests had a very good overall impression of their stay, which contributed to a memorable mountain experience. Foreign visitors are back again, not least the Danish and Swedish guests who are so vital to the Norwegian destinations. Interest in SkiStar is increasing and our member’s club, MySkiStar, is approaching 1.5 million members.

We are continuing to focus on sustainability and our new strategy. We are getting more people moving through alpine skiing thanks to try-out days for all local residents at our destinations during World Snow Day, as well as organising days for children and young people during the spring school holiday at Hammarbybacken in Stockholm.

We are also maintaining our focus on sustainability by addressing problems with charging for guests who travel to our destinations by electric vehicle. Together with Audi and Jämtkraft, we set up temporary charging stations in Ljusdal during the spring school holidays, which were much appreciated.

As part of our efforts to strengthen our position as the leading holiday organiser in Scandinavia, we completed the sale of our shares in St. Johann in Tirol during this period. This means that in the future we can fully invest in our home market in line with our updated strategy.

Just over half the winter season has passed, but it is possible that the best is yet to come, as late winter, together with Easter, usually shows the best side of our destinations with pleasant temperatures, radiant sun and lots of activities in our ski areas. We are continuing to see strong interest in visiting us: bookings for the remaining winter season, despite a late Easter, are up 9 percent compared to the same period in 2018/19, that is, before the pandemic.

In line with our strategy, we are increasing the rate of investment and intend to invest billions in the mountain resorts of the future. This year we already plan to invest SEK 555 million in all of our destinations. This will include modernising, weather-proofing and increasing the capacity of our ski systems in line with increased demand from guests and the need for more efficient and climate-adapted snow production.

Finally, the summer season will take over once again after the end of the winter season. We are continuing to invest in SkiStar Sports & Adventures to satisfy the strong and enduring staycation trend by offering an active holiday all year round in our fantastic Scandinavian mountain world.

Stefan Sjöstrand,
CEO