PRESS INFORMATION on the occasion of the Annual General Meeting
hotel.de maintains its course of substantial growth
• Supervisory Board re-elected with large majority
• Foreign expansion developing on schedule
• Increased free float enhances attractiveness of share
Nuremberg, 26 June 2007 – Shareholders at today’s Annual General Meeting of hotel.de AG, the company’s first since its successful stock market flotation in October, approved all agenda items requiring resolution with large majorities in each case. The comments made by the Management Board concerning the continuation of the company’s growth strategy also received considerable support. This was true both for the company’s foreign expansion and for the extension of its business activities in the conference division. Moreover, shareholders reaffirmed their trust in the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Dr. Stefan Morschheuser and the members of the Supervisory Board, Peter Hoffmann and Dieter Ahrendt, rewarding their superb efforts in recent years by re-electing them for a further term in office.
Furthermore, the Chairman of the Management Board, Dr. Heinz Raufer, was able not only to present a successful and eventful 2006 financial year, but could also report on a pleasing start to the current financial year. First-quarter sales showed substantial growth of 39.9% to reach Euro 5.0 million (Q1 2006: Euro 3.6 million). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to Euro 0.2 million in the first quarter. This figure already includes one-off items, such as the intergerma purchase and investments in the company’s foreign growth and the expansion of the Groups & Conferences business division.
The pleasing developments seen in the first three months have also continued into the second quarter. The company has launched new measures aimed at reactivating existing customer relationships and acquiring new customers. These have already shown notable success and will already impact on the company’s operations in the second quarter. “In the second quarter we will surpass the results reported for the first three months of the current financial year in terms of both sales and earnings,” affirmed Dr. Raufer. The company also expects to generate additional sales from its continuing foreign expansion. Before the end of the current year, hotel.de aims to establish outlets in Italy and Spain and thus to boost its sales activities in these countries.
Increased free float enhances attractiveness of share
By reallocating part of their shareholdings, the founding shareholders increased the company’s free float to 36.4% on 19 June. “In the talks in the run-up to our IPO, many investors already expressed a desire to see a higher level of free float,” commented Dr. Raufer. Although the founding shareholders were in most cases only prepared to part company with a small portion of their shares, the company expects this measure to increase the trading liquidity of hotel.de’s share and thus to result in even greater interest being shown by private and institutional investors. No further reallocations are planned in the medium term.
hotel.de AG, based in Hamm and Nuremberg, Germany, London, UK and Paris, France runs a free of charge hotel reservation service for companies and private users on www.hotel.de, www.travelres.com, www.hotel.at and www.hotel.ch. hotel.de/TravelRes offers 210,000 hotels 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. These partially result from the very low hotel rates which hotel.de/TravelRes is able to negotiate with hotels, thanks to its high booking volume. 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.