Arosa Bergbahnen AG can look back on the 2020/2021 financial year with some relief after a course of business that was permanently determined by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. After very good summer business in 2020, the winter months prevented major damage without a single day of closure. Despite a marked decline in sales for the 2018/2019 financial year of CHF 5.147 million, the company closed with a manageable annual loss of TCHF 244. The path of qualitative performance development on the mountain is consistently pursued with targeted projects.
The 2020/2021 financial year, dominated by SARS-CoV-2, is leaving its mark on Arosa Bergbahnen AG. The decline in sales of TCHF 5,147 compared to the last uninterrupted financial year 2018/2019 is considerable (-17.5%). Mountain gastronomy is particularly hard hit with a loss in sales of TCHF 3,250 (-48.5%). The almost perfect atmospheric conditions with a beautiful summer 2020 with many sunny days and the excellent snow and weather conditions in the winter sports destination Arosa Lenzerheide had a soothing effect.
The brisk influx of Swiss guests from all parts of the country with the offers of bears and bike trails gave Arosa a record summer result with 187,000 first entries. Although the snow windows were short and demanding due to the external conditions, the first slopes on the Hörnli were opened in the sixth edition of the November high on October 31, 2020. At the pre-season weekends, Arosa Bergbahnen AG gained valuable experience with the introduction and implementation of winter protection concepts. The consistent implementation of the safety measures and the full range of offers in Arosa Lenzerheide from the beginning of December gave snow sports enthusiasts a good feeling of space and space. They showed themselves to be disciplined and were happy about one of the rarely permitted outdoor sporting activities.
The "Black Diamond Slope" on the Brüggerhorn was particularly well received by the guests. October 2020. At the pre-season weekends, Arosa Bergbahnen AG gained valuable experience with the introduction and implementation of winter protection concepts.
Without a closing day through the winter
In addition to the loss of sales, the mountain railway company also had to cope with considerable additional expenses for the operational SARS-CoV-2 implementations. Additional costs of around TCHF 460 were incurred for the use of guest guides, expansions in the company's range in summer and winter as well as for protective materials. In contrast, there were also savings in production costs, such as in marketing, which had a negative effect on the business result. At the end of the financial year on April 30, EBITDA was TCHF 6,867. This is 27.5% below the excellent 2018/2019 financial year and TCHF 750 below the five-year average. An annual loss of TCHF 244, which is bearable under the special circumstances, can be presented to the General Meeting. Lorenzo Schmid, Chairman of the Board of Directors, is satisfied with the result and sums it up in a nutshell: "We are happy that the result was not as bad as we feared in January. We are grateful for that, as well as for the independent Swiss path, which in retrospect turned out to be the right one proved. "
Arosa Bergbahnen AG did not have to apply for any corona credit, the application for hardship compensation in favor of the mountain gastronomy division has been submitted, the decision is pending. The EBITDA ratio of 28.4% is a solid figure for a mountain railway company with its own mountain restaurants and hotels. The reported cash flow is TCHF 5,986 and accounts for 24.7% of sales. The board of directors of the mountain railway company will propose to the general assembly to allocate the annual loss to the balance sheet profit and to claim any hardship compensation for the catering industry. "As the use of hardship compensation is linked to a three-year dividend waiver, we want to leave this decision to the shareholders' meeting in September 2021.", Lorenzo Schmid explains the decision of the Board of Directors. Looking to the future, the Chairman of the Board of Directors said: "The SARS-Cov-2 pandemic is not over yet, the planning is and will remain demanding and challenging. We hope and wish for more stability with a view to the coming winter, so we are cautious to remain optimistic. " Since the use of hardship compensation is linked to a three-year dividend waiver, we want to leave this decision to the shareholders' meeting in September 2021. ",
Consolidation in investments
After the lavish investment program of the past three years totaling CHF 23 million, Arosa Bergbahnen AG is taking a breather in the 2021/2022 financial year. “In the last two financial years, the company has invested heavily in the Arosa East area. The new 6-seater chairlift, the 2.4 km long black piste "Black Diamond Slope" and the renovation of the Sattelhütte for almost CHF 13 million were built on the Brüggerhorn, ”says Philipp Holenstein, Director of Arosa Bergbahnen AG. New projects for a total of CHF 3.85 million are planned for the current financial year. “The new drive with control and brake hydraulics for the Arosa-Weisshorn cable car 2nd section is already installed for CHF 1.1 million. There are also two new snow groomers, the replacement of the snowmaking system from Tschuggen to the Ried valley, which needs to be renewed, as well as the fidgeting search game as the 3rd stage of the Tschuggen snow sport adventure world, ”said the head of the mountain railway. Summer business got off to a good start, and as expected, due to the inconsistent weather, not as strong as in the peak summer of 2020. "It is mandatory to wear a mask in the cabins and gondolas We are practically the same for first-time admissions in the first six weeks as compared to the good summer of 2019, "explains Philipp Holenstein.
The Board of Directors intends to hold the Annual General Meeting on September 25, 2021 with a physical presence on site in Arosa, provided that the officially prescribed Covid measures allow this. The instructions for exercising voting rights will be sent to shareholders in writing with the invitation at the beginning of September 2021.