Fri | Jul 30, 2021

Playa’s Jamaica revenue craters

Published:Friday | May 28, 2021 | 12:15 AMSteven Jackson - Senior Business Reporter
The waterpark at Jewel Runaway Bay in St Ann, one of the properties sold by Playa Hotels last year.
File The waterpark at Jewel Runaway Bay in St Ann, one of the properties sold by Playa Hotels last year.

Jamaica dropped to third spot in the Playa group, having been overtaken by Dominican Republic in the first quarter of 2021.

After disposing of two resorts in Jamaica amid the pandemic, revenue from that market for Playa Hotels & Resorts dropped to US$12.7 million for the January to March period, less than a quarter of the US$54.5 million revenue flows booked in the comparative quarter in 2020.

Dominican Republic, where the hotel group also sold one resort property, Dreams Puerto Aventuras, contributed US$20.9 million in revenue, down from US$35.6 million.

Mexico remained dominant with revenue of US$43.6 million this period, which is half the US$86 million that it delivered in March 2020. Playa has signed an agreement to sell Capri Resort in that market, and booked an impairment loss of US$24 million related to the sale.

In Jamaica, the group sold Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort & Waterpark and Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa last year May, and continues to operate five others: Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, Hilton Rose Hall Resort, Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa, and Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa.

Playa Hotels made a net loss of US$69.7 million for the March 2021 quarter on depressed revenue of US$78 million. Comparatively, the resort group made a net loss of US$22.6 million on revenue of US$177.2 million a year earlier.

The company’s outlook on business recovery remains sombre.

“The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have increased uncertainty, which has reduced our ability to use past results to estimate future performance. Accordingly, our estimates and judgements may be subject to greater volatility than has been the case in the past,” said Playa Chairman and CEO Bruce Wardinski in the company’s first-quarter financial report.

The company sold Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa and Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort & Waterpark in May 2020. The properties were sold for US$60 million ($9 billion), below their fair value of US$85 million, financials stated a year ago. Playa stated that it needed the funds for cash flow, but also to pay down on a portion of its debt.

Wardinski added that the extent to which the pandemic will continue to impact Playa and consumer behaviour will depend on future developments, which are “highly uncertain” and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the scope, severity and duration of the pandemic; government actions taken to contain the pandemic or mitigate its impact; the speed, effectiveness and distribution of vaccine and treatment therapies; the direct and indirect economic effects of the pandemic; and its impact on unemployment rates and consumer discretionary spending.