Greetings to all Delicious Demar Enterprises (DDE) shareholders :-)
I know it has been a while since I provided an update, but RL commitments (a new job - yay!) have left me with little time the last month to spend in SL - I have spent what time I do have managing the business and trying to keep the sims all full.
Occupancy is down a little bit from previous months, due in all likelihood to the new island prices (making them more affordable than ever, and leading to some potential renters deciding to buy instead), and to the general slowdown in the US economy - I suspect people there just have less money to spend than ever. Nevertheless, occupancy still remains at 95% and I am working hard as always to rent out whatever parcels become available.
So... As you all know, I have made my intentions to slowly get out of the land biz and wind down DDE quite clear, but recent developments in SL have forced me to reconsider the speed and timing of my actions. Two recent changes by Linden Labs have actually made me decide not only to slow down the wind-down, but in fact have convinced me to expand in a limited way over the last six weeks. First, the change in the land prices makes purchasing islands now easier - they cost 40% less than a month ago - but rent is unaffected because it is tied to tier levels, which have not changed.
Second, the doubling of prims on the Openspace sims (a full island in size, but now with 3750 prims) have made them quite desirable in the marketplace.
As a result, instead of starting to sell off islands and wind down, I have in fact purchased one full sim and 7 Openspace sims recently - all of which are full (I am still waiting for delivery of two - but they are both spoken for...). Because of the timing of the purchase, I received two "free" openspace sims, as per the Lindens policy during the changing of prices, and now have a healthy number of sims to work with, when all is said and done:
Total regular sims: 21 (up from 20)
Total Openspace sims: 12 (up from 3)
In order to purchase the sims, I had to use whatever working capital I had on hand, but operating profits have been on par with previous months regardless. Therefore I am going to be paying a dividend of 0.1L per share immediately (watch for the transaction inworld over the next couple of days), and will be using my salary and portion of dividends to do a buyback of 150,000 shares, prorated across all shareholders using the percentage of shares owned. In total, I will be disbursing more than 700,000L in dividends and buybacks.
I will be providing more detailed financials in the coming days, but DDE posted a profit of slightly over 450,000L on revenues of almost 3,000,000L in April. As I have mentioned in previous posts, this is net of the salary I am collecting of 250,000L per month - which will be used with my portion of the dividends to buy back shares.
Hope you are all keeping well - as usual I welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions here, or inworld.