Despite a $21 million drop in profit, Skyline Enterprises Ltd CEO Geoff McDonald says there’s growing evidence to support a level of ‘‘cautious optimism’’ looking ahead, with the first dividend payment in three years coming before Christmas.

The company outlined its financial results to shareholders at its annual meeting in Queenstown last Saturday, reporting a net profit after tax
of $35.7m over the 2022 financial year, compared to $56.7m for the previous year.

That’s slightly up on the preliminary profit before tax, reported by Mountain Scene in June, of $34.9m.

Skyline chair Jan Hunt — who’s retiring from the board at the end of this year — says while the board deemed the payment of the traditional
year-end dividend ‘‘inappropriate’’ at the time the financial year concluded, given the positive trend in travel and visitation, it’s now confirming a 20 cent dividend payable within the next three months.

While the operating environment continued to be dominated by the impact of Covid, the board and management were encouraged by the 2022 result — despite border closures and restrictions, lockdowns and constantly-changing operating environments, which ‘‘depressed overall business performance’’, Skyline was proactive in minimising impacts by maintaining ‘‘agile and flexible operating models’’, tight cost control and careful oversight of capital works projects, Hunt says.

‘‘As international travel gradually returns, we are confident that our response will position Skyline well to face further headwinds from higher
inflation, constrained supply and a tighter employment market.’’

McDonald says Auckland’s lockdown in the latter half of the financial year, coupled with the absence of international visitors, had a negative impact across all New Zealand operations, most acutely felt in Queenstown.

Incoming: New Skyline chair Peter Treacy

Careful cost management through the later part of the year for Skyline Rotorua and the Christchurch Casino contributed to a ‘‘respectable’’
year-end result for both businesses.

Positive results were also delivered across international businesses, particularly in Singapore, where restrictions were eased earlier, and
Canada, where they were largely removed.

Looking ahead, work was still progressing on the Skyline Queenstown redevelopment and future international developments in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Swansea, in the United Kingdom.

Meantime, Peter Treacy was elected to the board, to become chair after Hunt steps down, while Grant Hensman and Donald Jackson were re-elected.

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