RV-sharing platform Camplify (ASX: CHL), likened by many to the "Airbnb of caravans", has today left investors happy campers.
While results for the year have so far been strong, a June quarter report details a significant uptick in recent months which has lifted gross transaction value (GTV) guidance by 13.8 per cent on prospectus forecasts to $31.5-31.8 million.
The Newcastle-based company's revenue shot up 177 per cent compared to an expected increase of 131 per cent as outlined in the prospectus released ahead of its listing in late June.
While Camplify founder Justin Hales says these results were bolstered by strong appetite for domestic travel amongst Australians, he adds the group saw far greater growth rates in the UK and Spain - as high as 2,782 per cent.
"A lot of that is because we've come out of this period last year where there was a lot of lock downs and uncertainty," Hales says.
"We've seen a big return in the UK and Spain to people wanting to be able to travel in those markets as restrictions relax."
Even amidst the rapid European growth, Hales is also optimistic about the caravanning industry's outlook in Australia.
"If you look at the roadmap released by the Morrison government, we don't have unrestricted, unquarantined travel until stage five. Stage two depends on seeing high vaccination rates throughout the population - and we're a long way from that," he says.
"For that reason, domestic tourism is going to be a focus for the next couple of years, in my opinion."
The release of the quarterly earnings report also saw the group's share price today back up at $1.29, after sliding on Tuesday to $1.20 its lowest point since listing. While that overlapped with Victoria's lockdown extension, Camplify says "lockdowns in capital cities have consistently shown no major effect in GTV and revenue for the period".
Hales won the Australian Young Entrepreneur Award - Tourism & Leisure for two consecutive years in 2019 and 2020, and last year spoke to Business News Australia about how domestic holidaying was driving revenues despite a broader tourism downturn.
And while he now finds himself at the helm of a publicly traded entity, he previously told Business news Australia the company had no plans to scale back on its community-oriented model. In the midst of the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires, Camplify leveraged its network to provide free emergency accommodation for those affected.
"We've always been a really strong community business. We've got that grassroots ability to grow our community of owners," he said.
"We really want to continue that because that's what got us to where we are."
In Camplify's prospectus the group had a forecast FY21 statutory loss of $3.4 million.
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