Comments from the CEO Stefan Sjöstrand

From SkiStar's Interim Report September 2020-May 2021

Despite the current circumstances of the continuing coronavirus pandemic in Scandinavia, with the winter season behind us, we can present a positive third quarter for SkiStar. I am extremely proud of what we as a company have delivered during this season: safety and security for our guests. In addition, there continues to be keen interest in holidaying at our destinations, with alpine skiing as the number one choice.

The number of skier days (one day’s skiing with a SkiPass) totalled 4.4 million during the 2020/21 season. This is 0.7 million fewer skier days than in the 2019/20 season and is due to the absence of foreign guests in Norway during the year.  However, our guest surveys show that as many as 7 percent of the guests were new visitors and skiers, which bodes well for the coming winter seasons.

With continued stability in SkiPass sales in Sweden during the past winter season and positive accommodation bookings compared with the previous year – a total of 43,000+ overnight stays in Sweden – we are able to report a positive profit before tax for the Group of SEK 112 million for the third quarter, which is SEK 115 million higher than in the previous year.

The challenges in Norway remain. The closed borders and the consequent loss of foreign guests have reduced sales, which is having a negative effect on earnings. However, we see a positive trend for winter 2021/22, with our foreign guests returning strongly and a large order intake for all destinations. Many guests tend to book early and we have winter bookings of +30% up to the end of week 23.

In order to strengthen our position as the leading holiday operator for Scandinavia, we have decided to sell our majority shareholding in the ski resort of St. Johann in Tirol in Austria. The divestment is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be completed during our next quarter. We have also announced our intention to deepen our collaboration with Peab in Skiab Invest AB, where we will jointly own the six best hotels and lodges in Sälen, Trysil and Hemsedal. The transaction, which is conditional on the approval of the shareholders’ meeting and financing, means that SkiStar will operate all of the hotels, providing us with future benefits and better conditions in terms of professionalised operational management and freed up capital.

The summer holidays are almost here, which means that we are opening our historic summer season and SkiStar Sports & Adventures, starting in Sälen, Åre and Trysil, with several new features such as climbing parks, cycle trails, padel courts, adventure golf and camps for young and old. The booking situation for summer is better than ever: 83%+ up to the end of week 23, measured as the number of overnight stays booked through SkiStar compared with the same period the previous year. This confirms that the staycation trend is here to stay and that more and more people want an active holiday in the Scandinavian mountains in summer too.

Last, but not least, the Board has adopted our new sustainability strategy with ambitious targets in areas such as the climate/environment, including a 50% reduction in our emissions by 2030, while also getting more people moving by offering more activities at our destinations all year round, and engaging in dialogue and interaction with our stakeholders and partners. Overall, I look forward with confidence to both summer and winter and I see SkiStar equipped to continue creating memorable mountain experiences for our guests all year round.

 

Stefan Sjöstrand

Chief Executive Officer