The Sierra Nevada ski resort, managed by the Andalusian public company Cetursa, has undergone a remarkable financial transformation over the last six years. In fact, the resort’s assets have doubled from €87.94 million in 2018 to €167.75 million at the end of June 2024, despite a difficult period marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to 20 months of inactivity and a loss of revenue of more than €40 million.

Sierra Nevada: debt reduction and strategic investments

Since 2018, Sierra Nevada has significantly reduced its bank debt by more than 50%, from 40.13% to 19.82%. This reduction was facilitated by a major operation to restructure the financial terms of Cetursa’s debt, carried out in January 2024. This operation cancelled the mortgage charges on the company’s assets, freeing these assets from any financial constraints and improving the resort’s overall financial health.

Strategic investments in the resort

Cetursa has invested more than €90 million in modernising Sierra Nevada’s infrastructure. The most notable of these investments is the renovation of the ‘Al Ándalus’ gondola lift, which will be inaugurated by the President of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, in early 2024. The project, worth over €20 million, is the resort’s biggest recent achievement.

Al Andalus – Sierra Nevada cable car

In addition, the resort has set up a snow production centre aimed at reducing energy costs. New snow guns, ski lifts and a conveyor belt for beginners have been installed to enhance the user experience. The digitisation of access and the creation of a new customer service centre at the Plaza de Andalucía, renovated in collaboration with Monachil town council, are also examples of significant improvements.

The resort has also invested in the complete renovation of its four-storey underground car park, as well as renewing its snow guns and acquiring new snow groomers and vehicles. These efforts have not only modernised the infrastructure, but also rationalised energy consumption, making the resort more eco-responsible and functional for visitors.

Sierra Nevada: financial performance and solid cash flow

Cetursa Sierra Nevada’s net assets have increased by a spectacular 108% in six years, from €54.65 million in 2018 to €113.54 million in 2024. This increase is attributed to several key factors, including substantial subsidies, strategic investments and rigorous financial management. Subsidies from Feder funds, totalling €40 million, have played a crucial role in enabling investments to be made without adding excessively to the resort’s debt.

Cetursa’s current assets have increased by 240%, from €11 million in 2018 to €37.43 million in 2024. This growth is mainly due to the increase in the cash balance, which has risen from €1 million in 2018 to almost €27 million in 2024. Efficient management of funds and investments has maintained a strong cash position, providing the resort with a high degree of financial stability.

Strategic investments of more than €90 million have not only modernised the resort’s infrastructure, but have also helped to improve the resort’s profitability and overall performance.

The fact that the majority of current assets are cash reinforces the resort’s financial strength. This means that Cetursa has the necessary liquidity to cover its short-term obligations without having to resort to additional borrowing, thereby reducing financial risk and ensuring stable and sustainable management.

Finally, the resort’s efficient management is also reflected in the positive trend in working capital, which has risen from €0.2 million to €25.66 million. This improvement shows that the resort is now better equipped to manage its day-to-day operations and cash requirements, ensuring smooth operational continuity.

2023/2024: a historic season for Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada’s 2023/24 season was marked by impressive achievements and records, despite the challenges posed by difficult weather conditions. The resort recorded 1,100,945 visitors, making it the seventh busiest season in its history. This figure is all the more remarkable given the temporary closures imposed by adverse weather conditions, which resulted in 14 days of inactivity.

Despite the challenges posed by the weather, the season was a resounding success, thanks to the quality of the infrastructure and the efficient management of visitor flows. Efforts to improve facilities and services not only attracted large numbers of visitors, but also fostered high levels of customer satisfaction, reinforcing Sierra Nevada’s reputation as a premier winter sports destination.

Record visitor numbers have also had a positive impact on the resort’s economic performance. Revenues generated by ski pass sales, catering services and complementary activities have contributed to Sierra Nevada’s financial stability and ongoing development. The diversification of activities and optimisation of infrastructure have helped to maximise revenues, even outside the traditional ski season.

Future plans and diversification of activities at Sierra Nevada

Cetursa is not resting on its laurels and continues to prepare for the future with modernisation and diversification projects. In addition to its winter offerings, Sierra Nevada continues to diversify its summer activities to maximise the use of its facilities throughout the year. The resort is developing hiking and mountain biking trails, astronomical observation circuits, and educational and recreational programmes for young people, such as summer camps. These initiatives are aimed at attracting new customers, particularly families and outdoor enthusiasts, while offering leisure alternatives to regular visitors.

To stay at the forefront of innovation, Sierra Nevada is also investing in cutting-edge technology. The resort is working on more efficient snow production systems, using less energy and water. In addition, the ongoing digitalisation of services, including online package sales and visitor flow management via mobile applications, is underway to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.

The resort is also committed to environmental initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon footprint. These include the installation of solar panels to power certain infrastructures, the promotion of public transport to access the resort, and reforestation programmes to offset CO2 emissions.

To support these ambitious projects, Sierra Nevada is working with various public and private partners. The resort benefits from European subsidies, in particular Feder funds, which finance part of the investments. In addition, partnerships with technology companies and academic institutions are helping to develop innovative, sustainable solutions for managing the resort and improving the services offered.

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