Cuba Ventures Announces First Quarterly Results Since Travelucion Acquisition And Provides Corporate Update

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 01, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cuba Ventures Corp. (TSX-V:CUV) (OTCBB:MPSFF) (Frankfurt:IJA2) (the "Company") is pleased to provide a corporate update now that its first full Quarterly Financial Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis have been filed on SEDAR. Cuba Ventures announces the financial results from the quarter June through August 2016, being the first full quarter since the acquisition of Travelucion which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Cuba Ventures.

Sales results from completed travel trips and bookings less refunds and cancellations ("booking revenue") amounted to CDN $606,590 for the Company's recent quarter. The gross profit on the CDN $606,590 booking/service revenue was CDN $155,405 representing a gross profit margin of 26%. The results illustrate the strong growth from Travelucion's 2015 results as well as the recently released audited financial statements for the year ended May 31 st, 2016. Over the last few years, Travelucion's booking revenues have grown at over 100% annually as the company has continued executing on its business plan and as the Cuban travel market has opened especially to Americans. Management expects continued growth into the next two quarters, which cover the holiday season and are historically the busiest season for travelers heading to Cuba. Furthermore, there is a significant CDN $188,433 in deferred revenue for this last quarter as the Company has received this revenue but it is not included as earned sales or booking revenue until the travelers have completed their trips. This will occur in the next quarter and thus the next quarter will see this accrued volume earned and recorded.

Travelucion's revenues have been on a strong growth trajectory since 2013 and management expects this to continue from last year's full calendar year booking revenue of approx. CDN $1,600,000. Cuba Ventures plans to continue this growth through several developments and initiatives including:
  • Overhauling and modernizing the current travel platform and booking websites
  • Bringing these sites in line with current online travel trends of multicurrency booking options, xml compatibility and GDS integration
  • Reintroduction of flights, package deals and specialized Cuba travel services into Travelucion's travel options; due to the historic recommencement of commercial flights between Cuba and the US, Travelucion intends to offer its increasing US web visitor traffic to online flight offers originating in the US in partnership with those airlines approved to fly commercially to Cuba
  • Offering over 4,000 private residences or "casa particulares" for travelers to stay at on the booking platform
  • Introducing several digital media partnerships to continue to monetize our web traffic of over 35 million annual web page views; examples of this include our recent deal announcements with SPORTTU in New York and Mercosur Chamber of Commerce in South America (see news releases dated Oct. 19, 2016 and May 31, 2016)

Recent Strengthening of US-Cuban Relations

Over the past few months, we have seen US policy continue to shift favorably towards a strengthened US-Cuba relationship, which has brought an increase in the number visitors and web traffic towards Cuba focused sites. Travelucion's websites historically received 5-6% of their worldwide traffic from the US, whereas, in 2015, the year after President Obama's speech in December 2014, when he authorized a rapprochement with Cuba, website visitors from the US soared to an average 34.7% of total visits over 2015 and has since climbed to 36.3% in 2016. On August 31 st, 2016, the first US commercial flight landed in Havana, courtesy of Jet Blue Airways and a second airline, Alaska Airlines, began flying in late September. There will eventually be 110 available commercial flights per day from US airlines with flights from the US west coast commencing in January 2017 with 12 flights per day initially planned. On September 27 th, 2016, the Obama administration appointed Jeffrey Delaurentis as the US ambassador to Cuba, the first ambassador in Cuba in over 50 years. Even more recently, on October 14 th, 2016, Obama announced further legislation changes to ease trade, travel and financial restrictions including removing limitations on bringing Cuban rum and cigars back to the US. Obama stated these changes that have been made by his administration are "irreversible." The strengthening of the relationship between the US and Cuba is correlated to the increase in American web traffic to our portfolio of 432 websites from 6% of our overall global traffic to over 35% since President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced the beginning of a process of normalizing relations between Cuba and the US.

Cuba Ventures in the News

With the recommencement of commercial flights from the US to Cuba, including those starting in January 2017 from the US west coast, CEO Steve Marshall was recently interviewed in both San Diego and Los Angeles (see news release dated Oct. 19, 2016). Last week Mr. Marshall was invited to the studio of NBC Seattle to offer further insight to Seattle residents: