Winter is here and the mornings are freezing cold. COVID is still with us but business is on the mend and things are looking up.
Our Hotel division produced record turnovers in March which resulted in a healthy profit for the month. For the 10 months year to date Orion Hotels turned a profit which is tangible proof that the drastic restructure is paying dividends. The Hotel management team under the capable leadership of Dr Antoinette de Villiers is making things happen.
Restructures, shutdowns, staff retrenchments and consequential logistical and legal challenges do not come with a hefty amount of trauma, emotional distress and pain. BUT at Orion, we have always had a “can-do” attitude and this is certainly standing us in good stead.
Now that the Orion ship is steadied, we are ready once again for acquisition, expansion and growth.
To this end I can confirm and report that;
- We are on the acquisition trail for new Hotels
- We have taken the Mont Aux Sources Hotel off the market and are now in the planning phase to renovate and prepare this property to become a world-class HYDRO AND WELLNESS RETREAT. Planned opening date = September 2024
- The purchase of our headquarters at 26 Wellington Road, Parktown has finally been financed and the transfer is expected to happen within the next few weeks
- OFM Maintenance & projects plus stores, workshops & security control room will relocate to 26 Wellington Rd
- Phase two of the Promenade Centre expansion project is well underway and we expect to settle in a number of new national tenants over the next 18 months
- Phase three of the Promenade Centre expansion project is finding traction with the lease or purchase of the adjacent land
- Our SNPL (Stay Now Pay Later) start-up travel & finance business is once again finding traction with the appointment of Charles Crosthwaite. We have great expectations for the new business
- We have also embarked on another new business venture. The supply, installation, maintaining, insuring, monitoring and financing of diesel power generator sets. This new venture trades under the name of GENSET SUPPLY & FINANCE CORPORATION (PTY) LTD. This business is headed by Fanie Lombard. Our first successful installation was executed this past week
- We are exploring a number of commercial property acquisitions. We are confident that the right deal will cross our path soon
- Currently, there are small and large refurb, repair and renovation projects happening simultaneously in five provinces
- Our letting drive is very successful and we are currently in the negotiation phase for a number of premises at several of our properties
- The recently purchased high rise cherry picker is already making a massive difference at 296 Kent Avenue, Ferndale Randburg where major water leaks, cracked window replacement and window cleaning are being undertaken
- The two x 600 kva generators purchased for Promenade Shopping Centre valued at over R2 million will be commissioned shortly
- We are about to conclude an exclusive franchise agreement with REGUS flexible office solutions for the Nelspruit municipal area. This company with HQ in Switzerland has operations in 120 countries. This project will be for a 750sqm serviced office solution at Promenade Centre, Nelspruit
- Our Bakwena Day Spa’s with spas at Zevenwacht Wine Estate near Cape Town, The Venue Country Hotel & Spa, and Velmoré Estate are doing continuous refurbs, upgrades & expansions. The recent addition of new the change & locker room @ The Venue is testimony to this
- Our ongoing engagement with banks, financiers and key stakeholders are also paying massive dividends
- For the financial year ending 30 June 2022 we expect all four divisions (ORE, Orion Hotels, Bakwena Day Spas, GI Holdings) to produce profits
- The recent group strategic conference held at Ditholo Game Lodge each business unit committed to substantial growth in their respective business units
- Mortgage and other debts are being reduced at the rate of nearly R2 million per month which means our balance sheets are becoming stronger by the month
The above are only some of the initiatives and projects on the go. Many others are too numerous to mention.
From the above list you will gather that ORION is on the move and that we are moving forward at pace.
Needless to say, all of this would not have been possible by our dedicated staff (all over South Africa), contractors, financiers, bankers, service providers and suppliers.
This whole rejuvenation of Orion is testimony to internal and external teamwork and collaboration.
Most importantly all of this is underpinned by good working and business relationships.
More than ever before I am looking forward to the next decade of dealmaking and good business.