|hotel.de AG posts positive figures for first nine months|
Nuremberg, 10 November 2009 – hotel.de AG, one of the leading worldwide online hotel reservation services, finished the third quarter of 2009 on a successful note. Within the ongoing weak sector climate, the company generated sales of Euro 8.9 million, thus matching the previous year’s figure (Euro 8.9 million). Sales for the first nine months totalled Euro 24.3 million (previous year: Euro 24.8 million). In terms of its earnings, hotel.de achieved a turnaround. Compared with the first six months of the current year, all of the company’s key earnings figures returned to the black. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to Euro 0.9 million in the third quarter of 2009 (previous year: Euro 1.0 million) and to Euro 0.6 million in the first nine months (previous year: Euro 1.7 million). Net income for the period from January to September amounted to Euro 0.7 million (previous year: Euro 1.3 million).
The development in the company’s key figures thus already clearly shows the impact of the measures introduced at the beginning of the year to enhance sales and earnings. Margins have been raised from 9.3% to their current level of 11.0%. Not only that, the company has stepped up its marketing and sales activities to boost both business with existing customers and new customer acquisitions. One further focus has involved measures to optimise processes and cut costs. All in all, hotel.de AG has therefore managed to compensate for much of the negative impact of substantial price cuts in the hotel sector and the decline in longer hotel stays.
Growth in the home market
Positive momentum came above all from Germany. Domestic sales grew year-on-year by 8.6% from Euro 13.2 million to Euro 14.3 million in the first nine months. The home market also showed a slight upward trend in terms of booking volumes. At Euro 54.8 million, third-quarter booking volumes in Germany were at the same level as in the previous year. September bookings were even slightly ahead of the equivalent figure for the previous year. The economic crisis continued to impact more severely on the international business. International sales amounted to Euro 10.0 million, as against Euro 11.6 million in the previous year. This was due to the decline in international travel as a result of the crisis and to significant cuts made in travel expenses at international booking customers. In spite of this, the company will be maintaining the targeted expansion of its international business activities so as to tap further long-term growth potential.
Earnings forecast raised
“Our business performance in the third quarter shows that our extensive package of measures was the right response to the deterioration in the sector in the wake of the crisis. As expected, earnings in particular improved markedly in the past quarter. In view of this, we still expect to be able to match the previous year’s figure in terms of sales for 2009 as a whole. Earnings should even be slightly positive, and thus better than originally expected”, commented Dr. Heinz Raufer, CEO of hotel.de AG. With regard to the coming year, the company “will continue to focus on processes and costs so as to sustainably boost our starting position for long-term profitable growth. Over and above this, our strategic focus will be on our increasing internationalisation and on expanding the range of products and services offered in the high-growth segment of small and medium-sized companies.”
The complete quarterly report will be published on 17 November 2009.
hotel.de AG, with its international brand hotel.info, operates a free hotel reservation service for companies and private customers at www.hotel.de and www.hotel.info. The company offers more than 210,000 hotels worldwide for booking online. Customers benefit in this respect from considerable cost savings. hotel.de shows all available room rates for each hotel, thus always enabling customers to select the lowest or most appropriate rate. All bookings are forward simultaneously, securely and directly to the individual hotel. This is guaranteed by the unique integration of hotels’ own reservation systems (so-called CRS and PMS systems) and hotel.de’s own myRES reservation system under hotel.de’s standard user surface. hotel.de’s corporate application is already used by well-known companies, such as BASF, SAP AG, Texas Instruments and Ernst & Young AG. Since January 2007, hotel.de has extended its portfolio to include a conference enquiries and booking system. Business customers in particular stand to save time and money due to the optimised conference organisation processes facilitated by this conference tool.
hotel.info – the international brand of hotel.de AG – was created to promote the company’s expansion into international markets. To acquire new customers and hotels abroad, sales offices have already been opened in the UK (London), France (Paris), Spain (Barcelona), Italy (Rome) and China (Shanghai). The company’s high share of business customers with international operations facilitates its entry into new markets. The aim is to establish hotel.info as the leading online hotel reservation service for business and private customers in the foreign markets mentioned and then step by step across the whole of Europe.