By Janice Heng
MYANMAR-based tourism firm Memories Group, in its first earnings report since its Catalist debut in January, posted on Wednesday a net loss of US$1.7 million for the three months ended June 30. A year ago, the loss stood at US$698,000. A spin-off of mainboard-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings’ tourism-related businesses, the group also announced that it had acquired two hotels and development rights over three islands in Myanmar for a combined purchase price of US$40.7 million, to be funded by cash and the issue of new shares. Memories Group has entered conditional share-purchase agreements to acquire 100 per cent of SM Asset Holdings (SMAH) and 20 per cent of Mokan Pte Ltd, the remaining 80 per cent of which is owned by SMAH. Through these, the group will gain the 72-room three-star Hotel Suggati and the 24-villa five-star resort Awei Pila, both under construction and due to start operations in December. It will also hold the development rights of Bo Ywe Island, Nga Mann Island and Kyun Pila Island. For the fiscal first quarter of 2019, Memories Group registered revenue of US$557,000 from the acquisition of Hpa An Lodge, Kayah Resort, the tourism and destination management business Asia Holidays, and experiences provider Burma Boating. The management extended the flying period of its hot-air balloon business in Q1 2019, unlike in previous financial years, when the flying period ended on March 31. Memories Group did not recognise any revenue in the year-ago period. Administrative expenses rose by about US$1 million, due mainly to additional expenses incurred after listing, as well as additional staff costs from acquisitions and a US$0.1 million cost for management and support services from parent Yoma.
Loss per share was 0.49 US cents, widening from 0.23 US cents for the same period in the year before. The group noted a lull in tourism during Myanmar’s wet season from April to September, but said it would continue to increase sales and marketing efforts. Ahead of the peak season starting in late September, the group has acquired the four-star hotel Kayah Resort in May and will complete a five-star hotel by the end of FY2019; it will continue to actively look for other hotel assets. Under its experiences segment, it expects its hot-air balloon business “to remain healthy, barring unforeseen circumstances”; its boating business has secured “healthy pre-bookings” until endMay 2019. In services, the group is continuing to target Western travellers and will begin targeting the Asian market by taking part in trade shows in Asia and the Middle East. Memories Group shares closed at 21.5 Singapore cents last Friday, when they were last traded.
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