Compagnie des Alpes reported a satisfactory winter season, despite light snowfall and poor skiing conditions at the end of the season.
After three years notable for their exceptional levels of activity, sales at ski areas for the first half of 2010-2011 were satisfactory, amounting to €316.0 million, an increase of 3.43% (3.24% on a comparable basis).
The Christmas holidays, which account for around 15% of the season, enjoyed early and abundant snowfall and good weather conditions, which mitigated the unfavorable impact of the Christmas-holiday schedule (Christmas and New Year's Day both fell on a Saturday). The four weeks of French school holidays in February and March enjoyed good results, compared with the same period a year earlier. The number of skier-days rose by just under 5% over the period, which highlights the appeal of ski products and ski areas managed by the Group.
Average revenue per skier-day rose 2.7% for the half-year.
After the close of the financial year, ski areas were affected by the late positioning of this year’s school holidays and Easter weekend. The weather conditions, with abnormally high temperatures, resulted in less abundant snowfall and a partial loss of interest by customers at the end of the season even though expenditures for artificial snow and ski trails and outstanding teamwork in ski-area maintenance provided quality late-season skiing conditions for most ski areas.
Overall, and given the expected increase in average revenue per skier-day, revenues from ski lifts should decrease only slightly (between -1% and -2%) for the full season.
The Group is taking measures to limit the impact on margins of ski-area activity, which in any event should be affected positively by compensation from the law suit relating to the Vanoise Express cable car (approximately €6.5 million in operating income).
Compagnie des Alpes is a major player in the field of leisure production in Europe. The company operates 26 leisure sites, with 11 leading ski areas in the Alps (La Plagne, Les Arcs, Peisey Vallandry, Tignes, Val d’Isère, Les Menuires, Méribel, Flaine, Giffre -Samoëns, Morillon and Sixt-, Serre-Chevalier, and Les 2Alpes, ) and 15 leisure parks (including Parc Astérix, Grévin, Walibi, Futuroscope, …) in Europe: France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany. In addition, CDA has minority stakes in 4 ski areas (Chamonix, Avoriaz, Valmorel and La Rosière) and 7 leisure parks, in France, Switzerland, Belgium, and the U.K. During the financial year ended September 30, 2010, the Company had close to 23 million visitors, with consolidated sales of €597 million and net attributable income of €42 million. In 2010 Ski areas represents 61% of Group sales.