– Norway is becoming more attractive – E24

– Norway is becoming more attractive – E24

The owner behind the Kvitfell and Havel facilities believes the increase in foreign traffic to Norway is not just a coincidence, and believes 2024 will be even stronger.

Anders (TV) and Arthur Boeckhardt own and operate the real estate company AB Invest.  The photo is from March 2020.
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AB Invest is a family-owned company that owns and manages hotels, offices and leisure properties in the Nordic countries.

The group owns AlpinCo, which operates the Alpine resorts in Hafjell and Kvitfjell, as well as Hafjell Kvitfjell Booking and Gudbrandsgard Hotell.

The real estate company's total rental and sales income reached NOK 1.2 billion in 2023, up from NOK 655 million in 2022. This appears in the company's annual accounts.

The strong jump in income is due to the strong development of the market in which the Group operates, as well as the fact that the Group increased its ownership in AlpinCo from 40 percent to just over 80 percent in April last year. DNB owns the remaining 20 percent of the shares.

Sales revenue, which rose from 187 million in 2022 to 677 million in 2023, is mainly due to the fact of the inclusion of sales volume from AlpinCo, the group wrote.

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– The reality is better than the numbers show, due to some technical accounting effects that pull it down a little. In any case, there is good growth, so we are happy about that, owner Anders Boeckardt tells E24.

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The growth in profits is due to the good performance of the hotel market.

“It is an added pleasure for us, after some heavy pandemic years, to be able to make up for some of what we lost,” says Buschardt.

AB Invest owns 80% of AlpinCo, which operates the Alpine resort in Hafjell.

– Not a traveler

AB Invest achieved operating profit of NOK 318 million in 2023, up from NOK 264 million in 2022. AB Invest owns a total of 14 hotels with a total of 3,379 hotel rooms, as well as 13 office and commercial properties.

The group owns Mjøstårnet in Bromundal, Scandic Lerkendal in Trondheim, and Fyri Resort in Hemsedal, among others.

Regular pre-tax profits were somewhat weaker last year compared to the previous year, when they fell from NOK 119 million to NOK 83 million. This is due to increased amortization related to goodwill after the acquisition of AlpinCo, increased interest costs and currency fluctuations, the company writes in the annual accounts.

Anders Boeckhardt says the company has been fortunate that interest rate increases have not affected it to a large extent, as it is conservative and mostly has fixed interest rates.

– Therefore, we prefer to look forward and create new projects rather than roam and fight to survive, he says.

He says the group has put behind it two strong winters for Alpine resorts. The positive trend from last year continued until 2024, both for ski resorts and hotels.

Borchardt also has good faith for the future.

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– We see that Norway and the Nordic region are becoming more attractive as a travel destination, with increasing traffic from abroad. We believe this is not a scam, he says, and continues:

– This means that we think the industry we work in is very exciting right now.

The krone exchange rate is not the most important

Buchart believes that 2024 will be better. He says the company is thinking long-term, and is even more optimistic about the next ten years.

It is believed that the increase in the number of foreign tourists to Norway is much more than just a doubling of the krone exchange rate.

– It is of course a contribution, but I think there has been too much focus on it in the media. He says foreign traffic is primarily among the things people can experience here.

What is often forgotten is that many visitors to Norway are accustomed to sun and heat all year round. It's not that hot here, and Norway offers a lot of interesting weather.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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