Business

Dolphin Cove to roll out US$6-m expansion in 2015

Wednesday, June 25, 2014    

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MARINE park operator Dolphin Cove expects to spend some US$6 million ($660 million) initially to develop its three overseas locations in two Caribbean territories, management indicated.

It also expects to start night shows at its Ocho Rios venue, starting next month. That will increase the revenue- generating hours per day.

"[It will] cost between US$4 and US$6 million in total for the development of the three new locations," Stafford Burrowes, chairman and chief executive officer at Dolphin Cove, told the Observer following the annual general meeting held at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston on Monday. "We don't want to bite more than we can chew."

The company currently operates a relatively low debt model with $1.9 billion in total assets with some $500 million in total liabilities, according to March first quarter 2014 results.

Management in previous discussions revealed plans to build two locations in Turks & Caicos islands (Grand Turk and Providenciales) and a third in St Lucia. But the total cost of adding the three locations remained publicly unquantified.

"It will be financed by a mix of debt and equity," Burrowes told the Observer.

"We already bought the land... all three totalled US$1.5 million. We bought it at a good time so we got some good deals."

The company formed Balmoral Dolphins in April 2012 and Cheshire Hall in June 2012 with the intension to develop attractions in Turks & Caicos.

The company also formed SB Holdings Limited in November 2013, with a wholly owned subsidiary Marine Adventure Park Limited for a park in St Lucia.

Burrowes expects to begin development in 2015 for the projects which are already delayed by nearly two years. He again blamed the delays on red tape surrounding environmental and planning permission.

The company currently operates three locations - Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Hanover.

The tourist attraction's March 2014 quarterly net profit totalled $148 million or 26 per cent higher year over year. Revenues increased by 11 per cent over the period to $436 million led by Ocho Rios, earning nearly three-quarters of that amount.

Dolphin Cove was listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange in December 2010.

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