Apollo sees bushfire fallout on the horizon for bottom line

Apollo sees bushfire fallout on the horizon for bottom line

Motorhome company Apollo Tourism & Leisure (ASX: ATL) faces a slowdown on two fronts as bushfires take their toll on domestic customer numbers and forward bookings from overseas.

In a trading update today, the Brisbane-based group announced it would be challenging to reach the underlying FY19 net profit of $14.7 million again in FY20.

"Domestic last-minute bookings over the peak summer holiday period have been impacted by the bushfires. The global media reporting of the Australian bushfires will also impact forward bookings," Apollo said.

"As we monitor the bushfire situation our immediate thoughts are with the communities and families affected by these events."

The company also highlighted subdued - albeit improving - global RV sales markets as likely to affect results as well.

A further update will be made in Apollo's half-year results on 25 February, and investors don't appear to optimistic with ATL shares dropping 16 per cent to $0.36 in early trading today.

From a practical perspective, the fires have been a test of Apollo's technology and systems to cope with natural disasters. Using its telematics solution, the company has established geo-fencing around affected regions which are updated as the situation evolves.

"Guest safety is paramount and our operational focus in recent weeks has been on ensuring our valued guests stay safe and continue to enjoy their Australian RV holiday adventure in areas unaffected by the fires," the company says.

"We are attempting to contact any guest entering a geofenced area to ensure they are safe and are aware of the current situation. Information is also being made available to our guests on vehicle collection.

"This includes government websites to consult for planned travel routes along with recommendations to follow the advice of local authorities and listen to local radio stations for regular updates.".

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