Ikeja Hotel Plc, owners of the Federal Palace Hotel and Casino Lagos, Sheraton Abuja Hotel and Sheraton Lagos Hotel has allayed the fears of shareholders of the company concerning the economic state of the company in regards to the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the hospitality industry globally.

In their 44th Annual General Meeting and the presentation of IHP 2020 Annual Report and Accounts held at the Sheraton Lagos Hotels weekend, the shareholders had seek to know from the board, the state of the affairs of the company, noticing that there was a drop in the company’s financial growth emanating from the long stretched economic lockdown orchestrated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the management at the meeting, reiterated its commitment to maintaining high standard services, while making every necessary effort to navigate out of the unprecedented challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. They also assured their shareholders, esteemed customers and general public that all Ikeja Hotel Plc facilities will continue to remain atop others in quality services, security management and facility facelifts.

Chairman, Board of Directors, Chief Anthony Idigbe who was represented by Ms. Fadeke Olugbemi in his statement at the meeting, said, “It is undisputable that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted economies in Nigeria especially the hospitality industry while many business activities were disrupted globally. However, the growth rate in the 4th quarter of 2020 was lower than the rate recorded in the same quarter of the previous year by -2.44% while the inflation rate increased by 15.75percent in December 2020.”

He stated that the country’s slow economy growth impacted the company’s performance with the hospitality industry as one of the hardest hit, but assured that the company remain hopeful that with the strict adherence to the Covid -19 safety procedures, and the realignment of the company’s strategy, that the company will retain and increase its market share in the hospitality industry. He also noted that with the entry of new players in the industry, Ikeja Hotel will expedite action to fast tract the face-lift of their properties.

Idigbe disclosed that the company’s revenue decreased by 57.4 percent from N7.3 billion in 2019 to N3.1 billion in2020, a decline he attributes to Covid-19 pandemic effect, adding that the company’s operating profit for the year decreased from N1.3 billion in 2019 to a loss of N792.4 million in 2020. According to him, there was a recorded loss after tax of N1.2 billion for 2020 compared with the 2019 figure of N541 million profits.

Speaking on the divided to shareholders, the chairman stated that considering the impact of the pandemic on the company’s business and the slow recovery pace of the hospitality sector, the company made loss and would not be declaring dividend for the year 2020, but promised that the management and board of the company will continue to work hard to ensure full recovery, while bringing the company back to profitability.

The Group Managing Director, Ikeja Hotel Plc, Theophilus Netufo in a reaction to shareholders comments assured the shareholders that the company will rebound back despite the effects of the pandemic on the sector.

“We have the standard before and we are highly profitably before the economy was affected by the pandemic. Having said that, they report we considered today was the report of the Covid-19 periods. We are experts in this business and now that business is returning gradually to normal, we have taken steps, and we are 100 percent sure that things will be better for the company. We are not afraid of competition by the new entrants in the hospitality industry around us. We will surmount the challenges and overcome in a short while.

Physically present at the meeting were some of the Board of Directors while others joined virtually. They include Toke Alex Ibru, Ufoma Ibru; Kunle Aluko; Fadeke Olugbemi; Theophilus Eniola Netufo and the company Secretary Deborah Okpiaifo, while the chairman, Chief Anthony Idigbe, Alexander Thomopulos and others joined virtually. Mr. Rex Nihjof, General Manager, Sheraton Hotel and a representative of the Financial Manager, Sheraton Hotel were present.

Also present were nominated persons from GTI Registrars, CAC and SEC. others included representatives from External Auditors.

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