Online booking platform Hostelworld saw only small losses as bookings show signs of a recovery from the pandemic.
The Dublin-listed company has been hit hard by Covid-19 travel restrictions but is now reporting net bookings for the first half of 2019 are at 69 per cent of the comparable quarter before the pandemic.
The company found that demand increased throughout the year. While January bookings were a third of the level recorded in January 2019, June 2019 bookings were at 80 percent of the same month.
Hostelworld reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 5.2 million euros for the first six months of the year. In the same period of the previous year, the company reported a loss of EUR 9.7 million.
While EBITDA was negative overall, the June figure was positive.
Hostelworld also expects positive EBITDA in the second half of the year, barring a further deterioration in the current macroeconomic climate, flight disruptions or an escalation of the war in Ukraine.
Net sales for the first half of 2022 rose to 28 million euros, up 866 percent from the same point last year, when the easing of restrictions boosted demand for travel.
The average net booking value (ABV) also increased by 35 percent to €15.82 due to the favorable geographic mix, ongoing inflation, the recovery in bed prices as well as longer stays for travelers who now have the opportunity to get away.
The platform also increased its investments in marketing as appetite for travel returned, with direct marketing costs as a percentage of net revenue now standing at 70 percent. This was a 1 per cent increase from the same period last year, with Hostelworld expecting costs to normalize to between 50 and 55 per cent over the next year as normal travel behavior resumes.
Chief Executive Officer Gary Morrison said the company was encouraged by the strong recovery “across all demand segments and destinations”.
“In particular, booking demand in Europe, our biggest target in 2019, remains strong as our top markets in Southern Europe surpass 2019 levels. We have also seen booking momentum in Oceania and Asian destinations slowly returning from very low levels in January, with booking demand in June at 43% of 2019 levels,” he said.
“Finally, long-haul bookings in June reached 75% of 2019 levels, with travel from the US and Canada to European destinations above 2019 levels.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/losses-narrow-at-hostelworld-as-travel-demand-returns-41902137.html Losses at Hostelworld shrink as travel demand returns