Aussies expand into Mackenzie, plot more NZ investments

Skydive the Beach bought Skydive Wanaka for $10.4m last July. Credit: Skydive Wanaka

Skydive the Beach is looking for further investments in New Zealand after purchasing land in the Mackenzie District to launch a new skydiving operation.

The Australia-based listed adventure tourism company has bought two sections at Pukaki Airport near Twizel for an undisclosed sum as it expands its New Zealand operations out of the Queenstown Lakes District.

Company founder and managing director Anthony Boucaut told the Ticker yesterday that Australian stock exchange rules restricted what he could say about the Pukaki operation however he said the company was seeking further investments in New Zealand.

“I think it’s safe to say we’d like to expand our footprint within New Zealand and we see many opportunities in many regions there,” said Boucaut. “As we identify the right opportunities we’ll be investing in them for further growth in our business.”

Skydive the Beach has been on a buying spree in New Zealand purchasing Queenstown and Glenorchy skydive company NZONE for $17m in 2015 and Skydive Wanaka last year for $10.4m. It also bought for $500,000 Performance Aviation Limited, an aircraft and helicopter maintenance business, based in Wanaka.

The company currently has 18 skydive locations in Australia, three in New Zealand, and it recently increased its Great Barrier Reef cruise offering after purchasing Reef Magic Cruises in Cairns for A$15m.

Spurred by booming tourism numbers, the company reported in February an 84% surge in its latest half-year pre-tax profit, boosted by revenue from its New Zealand operations which shot up 362% to $12m from $2.5m for the corresponding previous period.

“I would suggest that in New Zealand there is not so much a tourism boom but this is the norm moving forward,” said Boucaut.

“There is a massive movement of wealth coming from [Asia] where there is a highly mobile society that is very cashed up and wanting to experience Australia and New Zealand. This is the new norm.”

Skydive the Beach has been bullish on its full year performance guiding a 61.5% increase in 12 month EBITDA to A$21.8m, adding its four key strategic priorities driving future growth are diversification, acquisitions, further start-ups and efficiencies.

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