Staff Writer

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Chairperson Ambassador Leonard Iipumbu has announced that the hospitality group has managed to record a N$20 million profit, more than 20 years after its creation.

“After more than 20 years, we managed to record a profit for the first time since our creation in 1999. This past financial year saw us record a N$22 million profit, which is a N$41 million improvement on the 2018 financial year. We achieved this by increasing our revenue by 11 percent compared to the 2018 financial year and by keeping our operating expenses flat, despite inflationary pressures,” Iipumbu said.

He was speaking during the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Monday 20 July 2020 to review the hospitality group’s past year’s operations and present its 2018/2019 financial results.

“At the time of writing the 2018/2019 annual report, Covid-19 had been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The impact of Covid-19 on the tourism industry is severe and devastating. With international travel restrictions effectively halting all progress in the tourism industry we will not be able to repeat the success of 2019,” Iipumbu said adding the company has implemented critical measures to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 to ensure its sustainability such as the introduction of the extra-ordinary N$600 per room special targeting the domestic market.

Newly appointed NWR Managing Director, Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, noted that “despite the change in leadership, the company continued to operate as normal. For instance, a profit scenario was recorded for the first time in our history, which, in my view, summarises the progress we made in terms of governance of the company”.

He went on to say that “there were also improvements in the adherence to standard operating procedures. Customer service levels also improved, and positive feedback was received from our customers. The negative media reports that characterised us in the past, also significantly improved. We will continue to build from the successes and improvements recorded in 2019 to improve even more in the 2020 financial year, albeit the disruptive and challenging times of Covid-19.”

For the first time, the AGM was held under the new commercial state-owned enterprise Act 2019 (Act 1 of 2019) that came into operation on 16 December 2019 and in attendance, the shareholder (government) was represented by the Minister of Public Enterprise, Leon Jooste and the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta.