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#Nordic Camping: Sweden headed for another recorded year

According to the Swedish camping association SCR Svensk Camping (www.scr.se), Swedish camping sites are heading towards yet another record year.

Summer 2015 seems set to become yet another record year for Sweden’s camping sites. A recent survey, conducted among the country’s camping entrepreneurs, shows that 52 percent have a better booking situation compared to last year’s record figures – despite a cold spring. Not less than 89 percent of the camping sites state that they have a better or unchanged booking situation compared to 2014. Camping sites are the largest type of holiday accommodation in Sweden with more than 15 million overnight stays per year.

Booking Situation looks good for the summer

It is even more exciting that the industry today also accounts for more than half of the international guest nights in Sweden during June-August. “40 percent of the camping sites state that they have more international bookings compared to previous years“, says Lars Isacson,CEO of SCR Svensk Camping.

More and more international guests choose to stay at camping sites

The survey shows that 91 percent of camping entrepreneurs have a better or unchanged booking situation regarding international guests than last year. 40 percent of camping sites have better booking situation than in previous years. More than half (52 percent) of visitors from Sweden’s priority markets, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands choose to stay at a camping ground during June-August.

Asked about what kind of housing the camping entrepreneurs believe will increase the most in 2015, nearly 60 percent say that mobile-homes will increase the most, as it did last year. Since 2010, guest nights in mobile-homes have increased by 45 percent.

In total, 228 camping entrepreneurs responded to the questionnaire for the season 2015, sent ouy by SCR Svensk Camping.

One way for investors to benefit from this positive trend for the Swedish camping industry is Nordic Camping. The company has recently conducted a directed share issue of 1,000,000 shares (10.5% of outstanding shares) in order to increase the shareholder base and to receive additional capital in order to finance future growth via investments in existing and new camping grounds. The share issue was heavily oversubscribed and shares were sold at SEK 22.15, a discount of 7% compared to the volume weighted average during the subscription period. Since the time of the placing in early June, the share has come down to below SEK 21.

While we would have preferred to see the share issue announcement in connection with a new acquisition and/or concrete investments schemes for existing camping grounds, we do believe that Nordic Camping deserves the benefit of the doubt. The company has a strong track record of consolidating the Swedish camping market, which is still highly fragmented and we believe that management will use the proceeds of the share issue wisely. At the end of Q1 2015 (pre-issue), Nordic Camping had a net debt position of just below SEK 44m (net debt/equity ratio of 70%). The net proceeds of the issue amount to slightly more than SEK 21m.

We do expect Nordic Camping’s share price to be boosted by announcements in the new future about new M&A and investments in e.g. the recently acquired Halmstad camping ground, which has the potential to double in size, as well as the building permit for 45 cottages.

Nordic Investor

Disclaimer: Nordic Investor owns shares in Nordic Camping

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