"Light at the end of the tunnel" for caravan and tourism operators Apollo and Camplify

"Light at the end of the tunnel" for caravan and tourism operators Apollo and Camplify

Green shoots are showing for caravan-focused travel companies Apollo Tourism & Leisure (ASX: ATL) and Camplify (ASX: CHL) as the two switch gears for a world less bound by COVID-19 restrictions.

Apollo today reported a FY21 net loss after tax of $17.9 million - an improvement on last year’s $61.2 million loss - as the company’s Australian market activity increased in all regions despite lockdowns and border closures.

Similarly, Camplify, a peer-to-peer digital marketplace connecting recreational vehicle owners with hirers, reported gross transaction volume (GTV) growth of 170 per cent in the full year. Camplify is partly owned by Apollo, which has a 17.9 per cent holding.

The results have led Apollo CEO and managing director Luke Trouchet to foresee a “light at the end of the tunnel”, especially as COVID-related restrictions begin to ease in the company’s key international markets of Canada and Europe.

“COVID-19 has continued to disrupt tourism markets around the world, however, we can now see light at the end of the tunnel as vaccination rates rise,” Trouchet said.

“I believe Apollo is well positioned to capitalise on the recovery in tourism activity.”

Despite’s Trouchet’s optimism, Apollo’s revenue fell by 20 per cent in the full year to $283.3 million, mostly thanks to border closures.

However, the company says in periods where domestic borders were open it was able to generate strong demand, with domestic revenues “significantly exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels”.

This was reflected too in Camplfy’s first full year results as a listed entity after its debut in June, with the growing company reporting GTV of $32.9 million - beating its prospectus forecast by more than $5 million.

Camplify, helmed by co-founder and young entrepreneur Justin Hales, was most impressed with its UK results.

Even with the UK being in lockdown for 137 days of FY21, the group’s segment achieved 221 per cent growth in GTV and 523 per cent growth in revenue.

“Camplify is a high growth company focused on achieving core growth metrics,” Hales said.

“COVID has been a challenge to the business, however we have accelerated the business during this period, including a successful ASX listing in June 2021.

“The company and the board of directors are extremely pleased with the results, and the businesses focus on delivering growth for shareholders.”

In the wake of Camplify’s FY21 results, roadside assistance organisation NRMA today took a substantial holding in the listed travel group and now owns 2.4 million securities representing 6.19 per cent of voting power.

Ultimately though, Camplify reported a net loss after tax of $2.2 million, slightly up from a net loss of $2.3 million last year.

Shares CHL are down 0.65 per cent to $1.53 per share at 2.36pm AEST.

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