EasyHotel reports strong six-month results

EasyHotel, the owner, developer and operator of super budget branded hotels, has issued a trading update for the six months ended 31 March 2019.

Despite the ongoing political and economic uncertainty facing the UK, the group continued to outperform its hotel markets in the UK and across Europe during the period.

Total system sales up 25% to £20.2m (31 March 2018: £16.1m), and revenue up 53% to £7.3m (31 March 2018: £4.8m)

The company's owned hotels like-for-like RevPar was up by 10.1%, and franchise like-for-like RevPar decreased by 3.5%

Both the group's owned and franchised hotels significantly outperformed the market in the UK. Looking across the wider hotel market, falling consumer confidence has dampened total hotel demand, with RevPar up 0.4% during the period (STR MSE UK).

Relatively strong market demand in London was off-set by a weaker regional market performance, with a marked deterioration in RevPar across the UK in Q2 as compared with Q1. As a result the short-term market outlook remains uncertain.

The firm's European franchised hotels performed less strongly than those in the UK, despite European hotel markets generally outperforming the UK. Trading is mixed on a country-by-country basis. As in the UK, overall market demand has softened in 2019.

The new owned hotel in Ipswich and two further franchised hotels in Lisbon and Bernkastel Kues have added 290 rooms to our network during the period and are already trading in line with management's expectations.

Further new owned hotel openings at Milton Keynes (124 bedrooms) and its refurbished Old Street hotel (89 rooms) are well advanced. Both hotels and the 15,500 sq. ft. of self-contained office space at Old Street are expected to open this June, which will be earlier than we had expected. Already there is encouraging interest in leasing the offices.

The group has continued to extend its pipeline during the period. In the UK, the 145-bedroom easyHotel Bristol development was added, subject to planning permission.

Further to the successful opening of the firm's flagship Continental European hotel in Barcelona last summer, the establishment of the group's European development team has added a 209-room easyHotel at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to the development pipeline. A planning decision is expected soon.

EasyHotel has received planning permission for the group's hotels in Oxford (180 bedrooms) and Blackpool (103 rooms), both of which are expected to open in the 2020/21 financial year.

Other new owned hotel projects currently in development include Cardiff (120 rooms) which will open next (financial) year and Cambridge (100 rooms), Chester (109 rooms), and Dublin (130 rooms), which are anticipated to open in the firm's 2020/2021 financial year.

Franchised hotel openings for this financial year include Zurich (150 rooms, across more than one hotel), Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (154 rooms) with Malaga (146 rooms) and Bur Dubai (300 rooms) expected to open in the next financial year.

Guy Parsons, CEO of easyHotel plc, said, 'Ongoing political and economic uncertainty continues to impact consumer confidence as demonstrated by weakening quarter-on-quarter demand across the market, both in the UK and in Europe.

'However, our actions to drive occupancy, including working closely with on-line travel agents (OTAs) to increase brand awareness, has meant that easyHotel has continued to outperform its competitors as consumers seek out the best value for money.

'Subject to our continued overall market outperformance as we enter our key trading period and whilst mindful of the ongoing uncertainty, the Board expects the outturn for the current financial year to be in line with its expectations.

'We remain focused on our strategic priorities and believe the current economic uncertainties will present attractive investment opportunities to continue to expand our development pipeline in our target destinations, creating value for our shareholders and underpinning the long-term growth of the brand.'