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NZ operations help drive profit up 28% at Experience Co

14 Feb 2018  By Paul Yandall

A guest on a Skydive Southern Alps tandem jump takes in stunning mountain, lake and river views. Image: SSA

Experience Co, formerly known as Skydive the Beach, has reported revenue up 51.5% to A$59.2m and net profit up 28% to A$4.6m in its interim results for the six months to December, driven by acquisitions and growth at its skydive operations.
The Wollongong-based company, which promotes itself as “Australia and New Zealand’s leading adventure tourism company”, went on a buying spree over the period spending more than A$80m acquiring six operators.
Byron Bay Ballons, Wine Country Balloons, Great Barrier Reef Helicopters, Blue Ocean Productions, Big Cat Green Island Cruises and Tropical Journeys joined the group, which includes New Zealand’s NZONE at Queenstown, Skydive Southern Alps at Glenorchy and Wanaka Skydive operations.
Revenue from its NZ skydiving operations was A$12.9m, up 7.5% compared to the same period a year earlier. Bookings at the three operations were up 22% with tandem skydives up 11%.
“We continue to leverage our position as a high quality Australian and New Zealand adventure tourism provider,” said chief executive Anthony Ritter. “We will continue to pursue further organic and acquisition opportunities in our pursuit to become the leading adventure tourism company in the world.”
The company said the improved result for the half year was due to the organic growth of its skydiving operations, integration of Raging Thunder Adventures and Reef Magic Cruises, which Experience Co bought earlier in 2017, and contributions from its new acquisitions.
The ASX-listed company raised more than A$80m in share offers over the period, which helped fund its purchases. It said it expected full-year profit to be in the range of A$135m-A$140m and normalised EBITDA to be A$35m-A$37m.
The company suffered four fatalities at its skydive operations during the period. Three people died following a skydiving accident near the company’s Mission Beach dropzone in October. And American tourist Tyler Nii is missing presumed drowned after a tandem jump at Queenstown landed in Lake Wakatipu in January.
The company, which started as a skydive business at a single site in 1999, now operates 18 drop zones throughout Australasia and has recently expanded into eco-tourism, white water rafting, hot air ballooning, canyoning, sea kayaking, and air and sea tours.

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