Bergbahnen Beckenried-Emmetten AG recorded - despite very challenging conditions - a gratifying result at the operational level in the 2020/2021 financial year, which ended at the end of April.
More sales and more earnings despite Covid
The financial year marked by the Covid situation started slightly late on June 6, 2020 and was characterized by initially subdued demand. Accordingly, there was a 20% drop in visitors in the summer compared to the previous year. The excellent weather conditions during the November weekends and the good snow and slope conditions then helped to increase visitor numbers in the winter half-year. In the winter, BBE AG finally recorded an increase in first-time entries of 60% compared to the previous year. In total, almost 250,000 first-time entries (+ 17% compared to the previous year) were booked for both feeder railways in the 20/21 financial year.
The increased number of visitors led to sales of CHF 7.2 million (+ 2% compared to the previous year) and an operating result before depreciation, amortization, financial income and taxes (EBITDA) of CHF 966,392 (previous year: CHF -7,503). After depreciation, financial expenses / income, extraordinary expenses / income and taxes, this results in an annual loss of CHF -461.
"This year-end result, which is gratifying under these conditions, is primarily thanks to our flexible employees, the loyal regular guests from the region and the many new visitors from all over Switzerland", explained and thanks Board Chairman Res Schmid. According to Schmid, the main driving reasons for the positive development are the cost optimization at all levels, the flexible personnel management and the fact that skiing was made possible at all in these excellent snow conditions. Schmid also emphasizes that a normal catering business could have achieved a record result. "After the poor result in the 19/20 financial year,
The managing director, Roger Joss, agrees with the statements of the chairman of the board of directors: “Without Swiss group, club and seminar guests, without occasions and taking into account the almost weekly changing conditions in the catering industry, the workforce and the operational management of BBE AG can be proud of these Performance ". In spring, the budget adjustments and the necessary corrective measures were well assessed and implementation was consistently pushed forward. Renegotiations with suppliers and insurance providers as well as reduced personnel and marketing costs led to massive improvements on the expense side, explains Joss.
The demand for original overnight accommodations was encouraging, so the Bubble and the Tiny House were practically fully booked. In addition, the online shop generated gratifying ticket sales of CHF 0.5 million. Joss concludes again with a Covid review: "Overall, we had to record considerable expenditure on personnel and material for the Covid situation, but we only had to fall back on short-time work compensation for a short time and were able to accept the majority of our visitors Satisfy measures. We achieved the goal of not having to lay off anyone and at the beginning of the financial year we were able to bridge the only liquidity bottleneck during the financial year thanks to the Covid loan of CHF 500,000. "
Summer start with via ferrata and early trips
The start of summer in the Klewenalp-Stockhütte area got off to a tough start due to the rather poor weather conditions. However, those responsible used the time and created a small, fine via ferrata in the Ergglen area, which shines with incomparable views. With the completion of the via ferrata, the Ergglen area offers a well-rounded offering, as there is also a climbing garden and an inviting barbecue area.
During the summer holidays (July 10th - August 22nd) there will be early trips (07.05h / 08.05h) on the Beckenried-Klewenalp cable car at the request of hikers, weather permitting.
Due to the very challenging staffing situation in the catering sector, the offer is slightly reduced during the week. The mountain inns StockHütte and KlewenStube 1600 sometimes offer a grill, drinks and ice cream on the terrace at lunchtime instead of a full restaurant. The very popular senior hit will therefore continue to be on offer from Wednesday to Friday in the Berggasthaus KlewenStube 1600.