hotel.de publishes report on 1st quarter of 2007
• Strong growth in the first three months of 2007
• Entry into high-volume conference segment
• Positive outlook for the overall year
Nuremberg, 23 May 2007 - hotel.de AG presented its report on the 1st quarter of 2007 at today's analysts' and press conference, providing a positive outlook for the overall year over and above the pleasing figures for the first quarter. As one of the leading online reservation services for the mediation of hotel accommodation around the world, the company posted significant growth of 39.9% compared with the first quarter of the previous year, increasing its sales to Euro 5.0 million (Q1 2006: Euro 3.6 million). The company also expects to achieve medium-range double-digit growth for the financial year as a whole. The EBIT margin is expected to rise to 10%.
hotel.de acquires new business division
Within the framework of its growth strategy, hotel.de took over the conference database, online bookings system and customer base of the conference agency intergerma Marketing GmbH und Co. KG (Hamm) in the 1st quarter of 2007. "We have thus gained access to very interesting sales potential, given that around one third of hotel bookings arise in connection with conferences," remarked Dr. Heinz Raufer, CEO of hotel.de, confidently. This will now enable hotel.de to generate a high volume of conference bookings with its customer base of around 500,000 corporate customers. Moreover, the conference client base taken over from intergerma, which includes numerous renowned large companies, has provided hotel.de with attractive additional sales and customer potential for traditional overnight bookings.
Foreign expansion proceeding apace
Following the establishment of the hotel.de brand in German-speaking countries, the company is expanding its successful business model and its international "TravelRes" brand into other European countries. hotel.de thus supplemented the subsidiary opened in London in 2006 already with an outlet in Paris in the 1st quarter of 2007 in order to support the acquisition of new customers and hotels.
Positive sales and earnings figures
"Partly as a result of our success in other countries, we managed to increase our sales from Euro 3.6 million to Euro 5.0 million, equivalent to growth of 39.9% on the first quarter of the previous year," commented Dr. Raufer with regard to the company's further strong growth. The international share of total sales amounted to 37%. Overall, earnings before interest and tax (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 international growth and in the expansion of the Groups & Conferences division, which is responsible for the conference business. To exploit the potential for growth in this area, hotel.de increased its total workforce from 209 employees in the first quarter of 2006 to 292. Personnel expenses therefore rose to Euro 2.5 million. Costs of materials also showed year-on-year growth to Euro 0.6 million. As in previous years, it will be the second and third quarters which generate the most significant contributions to sales and earnings.
As was already the case in 2006, the current financial year is largely characterised by investments in the further growth of the company. "With this aim in mind, we intend to press ahead with our international expansion by founding further outlets", added Dr. Raufer. The Management Board nevertheless expects to post an EBIT margin of 10% and clearly positive net income of around Euro 2.0 million. Earnings are then expected to show substantial growth in 2008.
With offices in Hamm and Nuremberg (Germany), London (UK) and Paris (France), hotel.de operates a free hotel reservation service for companies and private customers at the internet addresses www.hotel.de, www.travelres.com, www.hotel.at and www.hotel.ch. Around 180,000 hotels around the world can be booked electronically via hotel.de AG. In 2007, hotel.de extended its business model, which focuses on the mediation of hotel accommodation, to include the high-growth business field of conference hotel mediation for corporate customers. Bookings customers stand to benefit from considerable price advantages by using hotel.de rather than other bookings channels. These benefits are partly due to the very favourable hotel rates negotiated by hotel.de in view of its high booking volumes. Not only that, hotel.de shows all of the price rates available at a given hotel (e.g. promotional, corporate customer, weekend rates), thus enabling customers to select the most favourable or convenient rate. A further unique benefit enjoyed by hotel.de customers is the fact that their bookings are transferred to the hotel computer simultaneously, securely and directly. This is made possible by the unique integration of proprietary hotel reservation systems (so-called CRS or PMS) beneath hotel.de's standard user interface. hotel.de's corporate customer programme is already used by renowned companies, such as Procter & Gamble, SAP AG, ThyssenKrupp AG, degussa AG, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, D.A.S.-Versicherung, Texas Instruments, Deutsche Börse Group and Münchener Rück, among others.