Louis plc has announced its results for the first nine months of 2013 on the Cyprus Stock Exchange..

The results of Louis plc showed significant improvement compared with the corresponding period of 2012, despite the very negative climate that prevailed especially in Cyprus during the first nine months of 2013.

The operating profit amounted this year to €51.2 m compared to €36.5 m last year, recording an improvement of €14.7 m or 40.3%. 

The increase in total turnover in combination with a parallel decrease in operating expenses have as a result the significant increase in operating profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and hotel rents (EBITDAR) for the first nine months of 2013. 

Louis Cruises achieved a significant improvement in its profitability and thus succeeded in recording an operating profit of €22.9 m or a percentage of 23.7% over sales (EBITDAR margin) compared to €12.2 m or 13.4% during the corresponding period last year, due to the reduction of operating costs by 6.9% and an increase of turnover (+6%). 

Louis Hotels also improved profitability indicators with the rate of operating profit over sales (EBITDAR margin) reaching 38.5% compared to 34.5% in 2012, and also reduced its operating costs by 3,3%. 

It is worth noting that both Louis Cruises and Louis Hotels managed to reduce their operating costs in absolute numbers and as a percentage of sales, despite the increase in turnover achieved by the two separate activities of the Group, during the period under review.

The profit from operations before net finance expenses, for the nine months of 2013, increased from €10.8 m to €26.2 m, an increase of €15.4 m or 142%. 

Louis Cruises had the greatest improvement, since 2012 was a particularly difficult year. 

Also, the decrease in net finance expenses widened the positive deviation of this year’s results compared to last year results, registering an increase in net profit from operations by €16.6 m.

Net profit attributable to the shareholders recorded a total increase of €11.4 m.

The reversal of last year’s nine months results and the achievement of net profit of €2.9 m compared to a loss of €8,. m in 2012, confirms that the Company is on the right track, according to a statement.

It is noted that the improvement in the results of Louis Hotels would have been even greater if the additional provision for ‘deferred’ taxation in Greece of €4.1 m was not required, due to the increase in tax rates from 20% to 26%.

The overall improvement in the results of Louis plc during the first nine months of 2013 compared to the corresponding period of 2012 was possible with a relatively small increase in the turnover of the Group (+4.5%). 

This increase resulted mainly from the activities of Louis Cruises (+6%) from the chartering sector and from an increase in sales from Piraeus. 

Regarding the turnover of Louis Hotels, this showed a lower increase of 3% due to the fact that four hotels were closed for renovations during the first months of the year.

In a period where both the Cyprus and the Greek economy are facing serious problems due to the prolonged economic crisis, tourism, as is admitted by the governments of both countries, the Troika and other relevant bodies, is now a driving force since it is one of the few remaining activities that could reverse the current negative climate and decisively contribute to the restart of the economy.

It is noted that the decisions of the Eurogroup during the month of March 2013 are not expected to affect the normal operations and turnover of the Group since the majority of the Group's revenues  derives either from operations outside Cyprus or from foreign customers

The Group is in advanced discussions with its main lenders and has agreed, to a high degree, the restructuring of its loans based on the expected cash flows for the following years.

The description of the economic environment and the main risks and uncertainties that arose as a result of the decisions of the Eurogroup and in particular those relating to the financial system as at the date of approval of this report, are set out analytically in note 23 of the condensed interim consolidated financial statements of the Group.

Due to the seasonality of the Group’s operations, the results of the fourth quarter are expected to adversely affect those of the year, which are expected to be loss making but substantially improved compared to 2012.