Ad-hoc announcement pursuant to Section 15 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG)
hotel.de AG publishes preliminary figures for 2008
Nuremberg, 13 February 2009 - Thanks to its strong market position in Germany and abroad, hotel.de AG increased its sales, based on preliminary figures, by 26% to Euro 32.7 million in the past 2008 financial year. The company generated operating earnings (EBIT) of Euro 1.2 million (previous year: Euro 1.9m).
hotel.de reached several important milestones in the past financial year. In particular, the acquisition of www.hotel.info, a self-explanatory and easily remembered domain, represents a strong growth driver. The domain has successfully replaced TravelRes, the previous international brand. At the same time, the company established an outlet in Italy, its fourth location in other European countries, to acquire additional hotels and booking customers. Similar to the situation in 2007, hotel.de invested around Euro 4.5 million – at the expense of EBIT – in its further international expansion in the past financial year.
The company’s internationalisation strategy was affirmed once again by the strong performance of the international business in 2008. Based on preliminary calculations, international sales rose by 42% to Euro 14.8 million (previous year: Euro 10.4m). The company’s sales in Germany amounted to Euro 17.9 million in the past financial year, up from Euro 15.5 million in 2007. The economic crisis and resultant cost savings introduced by numerous companies and private individuals, also in terms of travel, led to a more marked slowdown in the pace of growth towards the end of the year than initially assumed. With preliminary sales of Euro 32.7 million, revenues thus fell slightly short of the forecast figure of Euro 34.0 million. Earnings also fell as a result, leading hotel.de to post EBIT of Euro 1.2 million. Operating earnings were thus clearly positive in spite of the economic downturn, but nevertheless lower than the forecast and the previous year’s figure of Euro 1.9 million. The annual net surplus is also positive.
By further optimising processes, the company has introduced improvements to its cost situation for 2009. Moreover, the company aims to generate additional commission revenues, especially abroad, by stepping up its sales activities. These measures should compensate for the impact of the economic crisis on the company’s growth. Given the increasing trend now apparent among companies towards opting for cost-saving online hotel booking sites, the management is confident that hotel.de AG will outperform its sector once again in the current year.
hotel.de AG with its international brand hotel.info runs a free of charge hotel reservation service for companies and private users on www.hotel.de and www.hotel.info. The company offers 210,000 hotels worldwide to be booked online. Since January 2007, hotel.de has also been offering conferences. Compared to other booking channels, customers benefit from considerable cost savings (on average 40% for business customers). Additionally, all available rates for every single hotel are always displayed, so that the customer can choose the lowest or best-fitting rate. Further, all bookings via hotel.de are sent right into the hotel’s computer - making a reservation fast, safe and reliable. This is enabled by hotel.de/hotel.info unique integration of the hotels' central reservation systems (so-called CRS) under one consistent user surface. Well-known companies, such as Procter & Gamble, SAP AG, Texas Instruments Inc. And Ernst & Young AG already use the hotel.de/hotel.info corporate application.
hotel.info is the international brand of hotel.de AG. This brand was established for pushing ahead its expansion into the European countries. In order to acquire customers and hotels abroad, offices in London, Paris, Barcelona and Rom have been set up, to be followed by other important countries. The strong customer loyalty and the high ratio of business customers facilitate hotel.info’s entry into the new markets as many foreign-based subsidiaries or parent enterprises of German companies contracted by hotel.de already have been using hotel.info. The aim is to establish hotel.info as the leading online hotel reservation service for business as well as private customers in the foreign markets mentioned and – step by step – in Europe as a whole.