The Coffs Coast Advocate

Pet Porpoise Pool splashes onto the stock market

THE Pet Porpoise Pool at Coffs Harbour has made a splash on the stock market.

This year the multi-award winning Coffs Harbour attraction will pay the largest dividend ever paid to the company's shareholders, despite a difficult financial climate in the 2007-08 financial year.

The Pet Porpoise Pool is a 39-year-old marine park that offers visitors an educational and 'hands-on' experience plus the opportunity to kiss a seal or dolphin, or feed the little blue penguins and the fish in the reef tank all for the price of entry.

This year the company will pay shareholders, many of whom are staff, 75 cents for each share held for the 2007-08 financial year, an increase of five times more than usually paid or 500 per cent.

Nearly every year since conception the company paid a token dividend, but this year record profits have shot the dividend well beyond expectations.

Chief executive officer Paige Sinclair said despite higher petrol prices and interest rates the park was able to attract nearly 90,000 visitors, an increase of 12.3 per cent over last year's attendance.

“The Pet Porpoise Pool management and staff have worked hard over the past few years on lifting the profile and reputation of the park, increasing the levels of customer service and exceeding the expectations of the visitors,” Ms Sinclair said.

“Simply put, by providing an inspiring yet magical experience which represents value for money, visitors are telling their friends and other family members to visit the Coffs Harbour-based park. An amazing 40 per cent plus of our visitation comes from 'word of mouth' or a personal recommendation.

“Of course the increased amount of dollars paid to market the company is a contributing factor, along with more than half a million dollars spent on improvements to the infrastructure. But the fact that we have won some very prestigious and recognised awards in the last three years, really helps.”

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