Published 28. February 2018.
According to Valamar Riviera’s 2017 audited annual report, Croatia's largest tourism company achieved EUR 247 million in total revenues or 17% more than in 2016. Revenue growth was mainly driven by a 20% increase in overnights and a 6.4% increase in the average rate. Adjusted EBITDA rose by 20% to EUR 84 million, operating efficiency increased and adjusted EBITDA margin reached 35%. The market value of the Valamar Riviera share grew by 26% in 2017.
Strong growth was driven by significant portfolio investments in recent years including the largest single investment cycle worth EUR 121 million that was completed for the 2017 season, a strong market demand for high added value products and services, increased direct sales and the strong performance of Imperial, a company acquired by Valamar and AZ fund in 2016.
Valamar plans to continue development in 2018 with investments worth EUR 95 million. This year’s key projects include the completion of Valamar Girandella Resort where Valamar will open its first 5-star Kinderhotel, the renovation of Dubrovnik’s Valamar Argosy hotel and Imperial hotel on Rab Island as well as the ongoing development of campsites in Istria and on Krk Island. Valamar is committed to continued growth and development as evidenced by EUR 536 million invested in Croatian tourism so far.
Valamar Riviera is the first Croatian company guaranteeing minimal net salaries between EUR 670 and EUR 1,005 to all its employees. In 2018 an 11.5% salary increase is focused mainly on key jobs in hospitality and Valamar will invest almost EUR 3 million to increase employees' salaries in this year only. As part of the company’s ongoing efforts to improve accommodation for seasonal employees, in the 2018 season Valamar will open its fourth staff hotel at two new locations in Poreč after last year’s opening of Valamar House in Rabac and on Krk Island.
“2017 results are driven by the successful achievement of our strategic goals for the period up to 2020 that include double-digit growth in results and enterprise value in a sustainable and responsible way. Valamar continually invests in developing its destinations and improving the quality of its products, salaries and work conditions in hospitality. Croatian tourism has the opportunity to offer high-end products and services, added value and top quality jobs. At Valamar, we continue investing and this year we will open 600 new jobs, particularly focusing on improving salaries and developing our employees,” said Željko Kukurin, CEO at Valamar Riviera.
Croatia’s CERP accepted Valamar’s bid to buy a 55.48% stake in Hoteli Makarska this February. Valamar will carry out this acquisition in partnership with AZ mandatory pension funds. In 2016, the two companies partnered in acquiring a majority stake in Imperial, a hospitality company on Rab Island.
The Supervisory Board proposed to distribute EUR 31 million of net profit achieved in 2017 to retained profit, while the dividend amount proposed to the General Assembly is EUR 0.12 per share. This represents a 12.5% increase over 2016 and is in line with the strategic goal to achieve and maintain an attractive dividend for shareholders in the long term.