Hotelplan Group reports a pleasing annual result
Hotelplan Group achieved the expected turnover in the 2016/2017 financial year, with improved profit margins. In what was an operationally challenging year, Hotelplan Group reported an invoiced turnover of CHF 1379.4 million.
In 2017, the travel industry once again found itself exposed to major challenges such as terrorist attacks, geopolitical unrest and natural disasters. This did not deter travellers, however, with Hotelplan Group reporting a 5.5% growth in passenger volume. The sale of Hotelplan Italia and the markedly weaker pound sterling on the other hand led to a 3.9% dip to CHF 1379.4 million in the Hotelplan Group invoiced turnover in the financial year ending 31 October 2017.
On course in Switzerland
The Swiss market leader Hotelplan Suisse achieved an invoiced turnover of CHF 590.4 million in the year under review. At 42.8%, the Swiss national entity is the largest strategic business unit within the Hotelplan Group. Despite natural disasters, including the earthquakes on Kos and in Bodrum and hurricanes in the Caribbean and Florida or terrorist attacks, Hotelplan Suisse increased revenue (without travel.ch) by 1.4%. A consistent tendency to early booking behaviour and a revived enthusiasm for travel boosted passenger figures to 523,000.
Strong growth in holiday apartments
The undiminished trend towards spending vacations in one's 'own' holiday home, chalet or apartment is clearly apparent in the newly-formed Holiday Home Division, which comprises the two holiday home specialists Interhome and Inter Chalet. Year-on-year, this was reflected in a 3.0% increase in invoiced turnover to CHF 332.6 million. The synergies between the two providers and the exploitation of various online sales channels also reflected positively on the result.
Pleasing outcome in Great Britain
Turnover at Hotelplan UK increased by 3.2% in local currency but, when converted into Swiss francs, this resulted in a marginal decrease to CHF 318.6 million. The repercussions of Brexit are particularly noticeable in the skiing holiday sector, as travelling abroad has become more expensive and this customer group is price sensitive. The highest growth rates in Great Britain were achieved by the walking and cycling holiday specialist Inntravel and the soft adventure provider Explore.
Gratifying business travel sector
The business travel specialist bta first travel is a successful element within the Hotelplan Group and has expanded its customer portfolio in the SME market, even though the demands of business travellers necessitate an ongoing change process. Invoiced turnover in the business travel sector increased by 6.2% to CHF 124.1 million. This is, among other things, due to the state-of-the-art technology used by the bta-own booking platform btaONLINE.
Start-up with vast potential
The Hotelplan Group start-up bedfinder is still an investment. However, already reporting an invoiced turnover of CHF 13.7 million, the provider of travel services is showing enormous potential. The key term here is 'Book on Google', which lets users book travel services worldwide without having to leave the Google search platform. Starting in September 2016 and initially offering hotels in the United States to global users, 'Book on Google' was rolled out in Great Britain at the end of 2016, with the concurrent definite launch of the bedfinder.com booking platform. In 2017, additional markets were added with Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and Belgian, with others to follow. bedfinder also makes so-called 'white label' products, fulfilment services and technological support available to interested partners. A further sales channel – the hotel search engine Trivago – was accessed parallel to the rollout of bedfinder.com.
In 2017/2018, Hotelplan Group expects to repeat the positive outcome of the 2016/2017 financial year: "At Hotelplan UK, the ongoing Brexit negotiations will indeed continue to put pressure on the skiing holiday sector in particular. But the current booking figures for the 2017/2018 winter season in the Holiday Home Division and the already gratifying summer bookings at Hotelplan Suisse give us ample grounds for confidence. Notably our youngest business unit bedfinder is growing daily through new cooperations, accessing further markets and reaping the benefits of continuous technological advances. These factors make us very optimistic for 2018," says Thomas Stirnimann, CEO Hotelplan Group.