hotel.de publishes 9-month report for 2007
• Sales in first nine months of 2007: +33.6%
• More than 46,000 new business customers acquired in 3rd quarter alone
• Management Board specifies 2007 forecast and provides outlook for 2008
Nuremberg, 30 November 2007 - hotel.de AG, one of the leading online reservation services for hotel accommodation, today published its nine-month report. As well as pleasing figures for the first nine months and third quarter of 2007, the company also provided a positive outlook for the financial year as a whole and for 2008.
Strong sales growth in international business
hotel.de AG has posted substantial year-on-year sales growth both for the third quarter of 2007 and for the first nine months. The international business, where sales rose by 45.4% to Euro 7.5 million in the first nine months, once again proved to be a key growth driver (nine months of 2006: Euro 5.2 million). Sales in Germany also showed substantial growth from Euro 8.9 million to Euro 11.2 million. Overall, consolidated sales rose by 33.6% to Euro 18.3 million in the first nine months of 2007.
Extensive sales activities supported by additional marketing measures enabled hotel.de to acquire 46,111 new corporate bookings customers in the third quarter alone, thus further extending the company's pleasing position in the lucrative corporate customer market. "The share of total sales attributable to our corporate customers has risen in the course of the year. As a result, the seasonal impact of vacation periods has intensified. Within the third quarter, the holiday months of July and August were relatively weak, while September saw above-average bookings and sales volumes. We achieved sales growth of 27.5% to Euro 6.7 million in spite of the two holiday months in the third quarter", commented Dr. Heinz Raufer, CEO of hotel.de AG with regard to the company's latest sales performance. The fourth quarter, by contrast, will benefit from the higher share of business customers.
Earnings situation remains positive
"Our notable success in other countries affirms our expansion strategy. In the third quarter, we therefore stepped up our marketing activities in Italy and pressed ahead with the development of a sales office in Spain", added Raufer. In spite of increased expenses for marketing in other countries, personnel and materials, as well as additional provisions for commission payments to cooperation partners such as travel agencies and web portals (affiliates), the company nevertheless posted operating earnings (EBIT) of Euro 1.1 million and an EBIT margin of 6.1% in the first nine months of 2007. This figure also already includes amortisation in connection with the purchase of the online conference business. "In the third quarter alone we managed to increase our EBIT margin to 8.5%. This already provides an indication that there is significant potential for scaling up the business model in 2008 and 2009 following the growth investments made in 2007." The net surplus for the period is also clearly positive. The net surplus for the first nine months of 2007 amounted to Euro 1.0 million (first nine months of 2006: Euro 1.4 million). In the third quarter, the net surplus grew year-on-year by 1.7% to Euro 0.5 million.
Substantial sales and earnings growth forecast for 2008
The Management Board expects the business to show above-average positive developments in the fourth quarter and has confirmed and specified the growth forecast for 2007. "We expect to see sales of between Euro 25.5 million and Euro 27.5 million and EBIT of Euro 1.3 million to Euro 1.7 million", commented Raufer. "Our increased investments in other countries mean that we have sacrificed a few margin points in the current year, but this will pay off in coming years." The Management Board is therefore confident that the company will succeed in generating sales growth in a medium double-digit range once again in 2008. Following the major investments made in developing and expanding the European business in 2007, the management expects EBIT and the annual net surplus to show very substantial growth in 2008.
The Management Board and other management staff are convinced by the sustainability of the company's performance and used the favourable share price seen in recent weeks as an opportunity to acquire shares via the stock market and off-market with a total volume in a six-digit euro range.
hotel.de AG, based in Hamm and Nuremberg (Germany), London (UK), Paris (France) and Barcelona (Spain), operates a free hotel reservation services for companies and private users on http://www.hotel.de, http://www.travelres.com, http://www.travelres.fr, http://www.travelres.es, http://www.hotel.at and http://www.hotel.ch. hotel.de AG offers around 210,000 worldwide to be booked online. In 2007, hotel.de has enlarged its business model - focussing on the placing of hotel stays - by the fast-growing segment of procuring conference hotels for corporate clients. Compared to other booking channels, hotel.de/TravelRes customers benefit from considerable cost savings. Additionally, hotel.de/TravelRes always displays all rates available for every single hotel (e.g. promotional rates, corporate or weekend rates), so that the customer can choose the lowest or best-fitting rate. Another major advantage of hotel.de/TravelRes is the fact that booking confirmations are sent right into the hotel's computer - making a reservation fast, safe and reliable. This is enabled by hotel.de/TravelRes' unique integration of the hotels' central reservation systems (so-called CRS) under one consistent user surface. Well-known companies, such as Wella AG (subsidiary of Procter & Gamble), SAP AG, ThyssenKrupp AG, degussa AG, Logica CMG GmbH, Ernst & Young AG, Wal-Mart, Texas Instruments Inc., Deutsche Börse Group, Munich Re Group and others already use the hotel.de/TravelRes corporate application.