InterContinental, the country's first five-star hotel owned by Bangladesh Services Limited (BSL), has suffered massive losses for more than one year since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic here.
Sources in the BSL said the main income of the state-owned company comes from the luxury hotel but the arrival of guests has come down to almost zero amid the pandemic, which has taken a heavy toll on its revenue.
Its peer companies Hotel Peninsula and Unique Hotel, which owns Dhaka Westin – a five-star hotel in the capital – are also struggling amid the pandemic.
The story is not the same for Sea Pearl Beach Resort and Spa in Cox's Bazar.
It reported an 83% year-on-year growth in the January-March period while Hotel Peninsula and Unique Hotel suffered a 6% and a 45% drop in revenue respectively.
According to the financial statements, BSL incurred a loss of Tk81.75 crore in the first nine months of the current fiscal year.
At the same period of the previous fiscal year, the company posted a profit of Tk24.05 crore.
After four years of renovation from 2014, the InterContinental hotel resumed operation in September 2018.
After the testing and balancing, its commercial operation began in December 2018.
Due to the operation suspension, the company incurred losses for five years in a row from the 2015-2016 to 2019-2020 fiscal year.
It did not pay any dividends to its shareholders for the last six years.
The company returned to profit in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2019-2020 after five years. It also reported a profit in the following two quarters.
The company plunged into losses again after the coronavirus made an inroad into Bangladesh in March 2020 and the consequent shutdown was put in place.
In fiscal 2019-2020, BSL incurred a loss of Tk46.29 crore and failed to recommend any dividend.
The loss per share stood at Tk4.37.
In the January-March quarter of 2021, the company incurred a loss of Tk31.78 crore and the loss per share stood at Tk3.25.
At the same period of the previous year, it posted a profit of Tk7.72 crore while earnings per share (EPS) was Tk0.79.
BSL operates InterContinental, the Balaka Executive Lounge at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Bangabandhu International Conference Center, and other two complexes.
According to the company, the InterContinental started its journey in the mid-sixties, subsequently, it operated as Dhaka Sheraton hotel, and Ruposhi Bangla.
With the management agreement for 30 years between InterContinental Hotels Group (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd and Bangladesh Service Limited, the hotel was named InterContinental Dhaka.
Md Nazmus Sadat Salim, company secretary of the BSL, blamed the pandemic for the huge losses.
"In the first wave of Covid-19, the company absorbed a huge loss but when the pandemic situation got back to almost normal, the business came back. The first three months of 2020, the company posted a good profit," he said.
"But due to a fresh surge in the pandemic and the consequent lockdowns in April, the hotel and hospitality sector slumped. So the company failed to make a profit."