Shares in Vail Resorts, one of the world’s largest ski resort businesses, opened higher in early trade at the New York Stock Exchange after it reported a jump in profit amid an easing impact of Covid-19 in the U.S. this year.
Net profit at Vail Resorts in the three months to April 30 rose by 35.6% to $372.6 million compared to $274.6 million a year earlier, the company said yesterday after the end of trade. Revenue increased by 32% to $1.17 billion from $889 million.
The increase in income “is primarily due to the greater impact of Covid-19 and related limitations and restrictions on results in the prior year,” Vail said in a statement yesterday.
For the nine months to April 30, revenue increased to $2.25 billion from $1.7 billion; net profit was $456.6 million from $268 million.
Shares rose by 2% in early trading today to $250. 61 from Thursday’s $245.50 close. They had plunged by 51% from a recent high of $372.51 on Nov. 5.
Vail owns winter resorts in the U.S., Canada and Australia, runs or operates hotels, and develops real estate. In March, it announced plans to buy a 55% stake in Andermatt-Sedrun in Switzerland, marking its first strategic investment in a ski resort in Europe.
Underscoring a long-time trend, Vail said season pass users accounted for about 72% of all skier visits in North America, compared with approximately 60% and approximately 51% for the 2018/2019 and 2014/2015 North American ski seasons.
Off-peak skiing is also on the rise. For the season-to-date ending April 30 this year, weekday and non-holiday period visits increased approximately 8% from the season ending May 5, 2019.
“We believe this trend is driven by the growth in pass sales as pass holders tend to spread their visitation more across the season, and, with the increase in flexible and remote work, we expect this trend to continue,” the company said.
Amid nationwide staff shortages cutting across many industries, Vail said it plans to boost average wages by nearly 30% for hourly staff in the coming fiscal year in North America. Tipped employees will be guaranteed a minimum of $20 per hour.
With business off to a good start from the coming year, the “investment” in higher wages makes sense. Season pass product sales through May 31 for the 2022/2023 North American ski season increased approximately 9% in units and approximately 11% in sales dollars from a year earlier, Vail said.
Popular Vail Resorts North American resorts include Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Whistler Blackcomb.