Experience Co will sell off the Great Barrier Reef helicopter and Byron Bay hot air balloon businesses following a review of the assets it bought just two years ago.
The ASX-listed adventure tourism company, formerly known as Skydive the Beach Group, will keep its skydiving and Far North Queensland experience businesses including Fraser Island Adventures, Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel, and Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises.
Chief executive John O’Sullivan, who announced the asset review in August, on Wednesday said the company had become “perhaps too distracted” by what it was doing in Far North Queensland and wanted to simplify.
The tourism market in Far North Queensland has been challenging with Experience Co this month saying passenger numbers were down 10 per cent in the first quarter, while GBR Helicopters lost a key customer contract in April.
Experience Co said on Wednesday it would sell GBR Helicopters as well as Raging Thunder Adventures, Byron Bay Ballooning, Cairns Canyoning, RnR White Water Rafting and its 15 per cent stake in Respax.com tour management platform.
They only contributed $4.3 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, compared to $26.2 million for its skydiving operations and $8.1 million for its reef experiences.
Experience Co recognised a $62.2 million impairment against its North Queensland assets and goodwill in August.
“We haven’t placed a timeframe” for a sale, former Tourism Australia boss Mr O’Sullivan told AAP.
“We want to make sure we maximise return for our shareholders.”
He said a strategic review found the company was well-placed with adventure tourism set to grow by 17 per cent, compared to single-digit growth in the general tourism market.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity ahead.”
Experience Co shares were down 4.1 per cent to 23.5 cents at 1459 AEDT, down 23 per cent on the year.