Butlins announces profit increase

Butlins, a chain of UK-based holiday camps, has announced an increase in profits with its latest accounts.

The holiday company, now owned and run by Butlins Skyline Ltd, a subsidiary of Bourne Leisure, has announced that its 2011 profits have increased by 4.3 percent to GBP97.4m. Butlins’ annual turnover showed an increase of 1.4 percent over the same period in 2010, to GBP813.7 million, enabling the company to distribute a USD43.9 million dividend to its shareholders.

The rise in the company’s fortunes is said to be due to two positive factors, a programme of modernisation and refurbishment that has been taking place at its resorts, and an increase in the number of British holidaymakers choosing to holiday in the UK rather than going abroad. The company’s directors have also cited an increase in margins, a reduction in loan interest and a growth in repeat business thanks to a high incidence of customer satisfaction, as being contributory factors.

A modernisation programme that cost GBP104m has been undertaken by Bourne Leisure, to provide improved swimming pools and entertainment facilities across the Butlins locations. A new hotel has also been built at Bognor Regis, offering a range of the latest electronic gadgets to help keep children entertained.

Entrepreneur Billy Butlin originally formed the company in 1936, with its popularity based on fun and affordable family holidays seeing it grow to operate 10 camps over the next few decades. Only three of those original camps now remain, as competition from cheap overseas holidays and increased operational costs forced the company into decline in the 1980’s and 90’s, before its recent renaissance.