Business

Margaritaville Caribbean eyes four more destinations

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 28, 2014    

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MARGARITAVILLE Caribbean expects to expand to four additional territories in the medium term led by St Thomas.

The move would result in a seven-territory operation.

"We see growth opportunities and have developments on the ground--nothing signed yet but right [now] there are four destinations we are working on," Roland Clarke chief financial officer told Caribbean Business Report in Turks & Caicos (TCI) at a media tour on Friday. "The Wyndham Hotel group in St Thomas...They signed with us [in which] the food and beverage done there will be done by us."

The company currently operates some eight venues in Jamaica, TCI and the Cayman Islands. The company pays a franchise fee to musician Jimmy Buffet, the conceptualiser of Margaritaville which operates a series of outlets globally.

The Caribbean flagship restaurant was launched in 1995 on the 'Hip Strip' in the centre of Montego Bay, Jamaica. The concept for the Caribbean restaurants was developed in part by chief executive officer and founding shareholder Ian Dear. In 2001, the Group joined forces with US entertainer Jimmy Buffett and became the Caribbean franchise holder for the Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville restaurant concept.

Margaritaville Caribbean plans to list its TCI operations in March in order to raise some US$2 million via the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE). The proceeds are earmarked for working capital needs and to finance the rollout of another bar dubbed South Beach and Grill. The construction will begin in March and last for three months. Dear told Caribbean Business Report that he expects the new bar and restaurant to earn an extra US$1 million annually for the TCI business. Dear already expects annual sales at Turks to hit US$6 million by May 2014.

The TCI operations earned some US$443,000 in profit from US$2.7 million in revenue for the six months to November 30, 2013, up from $217 million in net earnings in the comparative period in 2012, during which period it took in US$2 million in revenue.

Dear projects that revenues will rise in the fiscal year ending May 2014 based on rising cruise arrivals set to grow from 700,000 to one million.

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