The management of a five-star hotel chain in Pakistan has announced the sale of one of its well running establishments in Peshawar to a local buyer apparently to cut its liabilities, which have grown more than the assets, and at a time when another similar project is near completion in the same city.
“The board has accorded approval for executing the business sale agreement for the disposal of its hotel property namely Pearl Continental Hotel, Peshawar,” said Pakistan Service Limited (PSL) Company Secretary Mansoor Khan in a notification to the Pakistan Stock Exchange.
“We have reached initial agreement to sell it to a local buyer,” a high official of PSL – the owners and operators of the five-star hotel chain – told The Express Tribune.
It is not yet known as to who is the buyer. “We will disclose the name of the buyer once we sign a final sale agreement,” he said.
Another official said it is an establishment doing good business. “Its occupancy rate stands at 81% as of today (Saturday).”
“The hotel is mostly used by the staff of different airlines, as it is at a distance of 15 minutes’ drive from the Peshawar airport,” he said.
“At the same time, an advanced five-star hotel (and shopping mall) project namely PC Zaver Hotel is near completion in Hayatabad, Peshawar,” he said.
“The company’s current liabilities exceed current assets (excluding non-current assets held for sale) by Rs5.87 billion as on March 31, 2022,” according to PSL’s latest financial statement for nine months ended March 31, 2022.
The company’s operations were affected by the lockdown and measures taken by the government in response to the Covid-19 outbreak in the prior years, which resulted in closure of the hotel properties from March 2020 to August 2020, it added.
During the nine-month period, the (net) rooms (occupancy) revenue was recorded at Rs3.72 billion against Rs2.24 billion for the corresponding period of last year, the statement said, hinting at a turnaround in the room occupancy rate.
PSL booked a net profit of Rs996.48 million in nine months (Jul-Mar FY22) compared to a loss of Rs178.21 million in the same period of last year.
Commenting on the business prospects, the report said, the increase in economic and tourism activities were expected to bring a positive impact on the business activities in Pakistan, and the company being a leader in the hospitality industry of Pakistan would definitely harvest the forthcoming business opportunities.
Restriction on travel and tourism have also been relaxed, sports activities are back in Pakistan, and Australian cricket team just completed its Pakistan tour, said the report.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2022.