Hotelplan Group: solid outcome despite difficult environment
Hotelplan Group achieved an invoiced turnover of CHF 1435.1 million in the 2015/2016 financial year. Key contributors to the organic growth were notably Hotelplan UK and the Holiday Home Division with Interhome and Inter Chalet.
The tourism industry once again found itself confronted with formidable challenges in 2016. It was a challenging year for the Hotelplan Group too, with several terrorist attacks in popular cities and holiday destinations. Other geopolitical events also temporarily dampened the enthusiasm for travel, leading to a slight decline in passenger volume. As a result, Hotelplan Group’s invoiced turnover as of 31 October 2016 dropped by 3.0% to CHF 1435.1 million.
Successful British operations despite Brexit
Hotelplan UK was able to increase year-on-year turnover by 23.1% to GBP 244.0 million. Driven on the one hand by the acquisition of the soft adventure provider Explore Worldwide and the diving specialist Regaldive, the growth was also organic. However, the depreciation of the British pound eliminated some of this growth when converted into Swiss francs.
Exceptionally positive outcome in the holiday home business
In order to make greater use of the synergies between the holiday home providers Interhome Group and Inter Chalet Ferienhaus Gesellschaft mbH, both units have been merged into the Holiday Home Division. A noticeable trend in 2016 towards spending holidays in one’s “own” holiday home or chalet was reflected in a 3.7% increase in bookings compared with the previous year, and a subsequent 2.0% increase in revenue to CHF 322.8 million.
Difficult year in Switzerland
The Swiss market leader Hotelplan Suisse reported an invoiced turnover of CHF 575.0 million in the year under review. Emphasis was placed on optimum capacity utilization, whereby revenue at Hotelplan Suisse dropped by -10.5% resulting to a decline in demand – not least due to the various terrorist attacks in Paris, Hurghada, Istanbul, Brussels, Nice, Munich and Berlin, as well as the coup attempt in Turkey. Thanks to prudent capacity management and strong autumn demand, Hotelplan Suisse can nonetheless report a significantly improved result.
Business travel on course
Despite falling prices and margin pressure in air travel, business travel specialist bta first travel reported just a minor decline of 1.8% at an invoiced turnover of CHF 116.9 million. Comparably, the volume of transactions increased with the acquisition of new customers, thanks to innovative technology which perfectly complements our proven customer service.
Sale of Hotelplan Italia with job retention
Hotelplan Group said goodbye on 31 October 2016 to the business unit Hotelplan Italia, which was sold to the Italian tour operator Eden Viaggi on favourable terms that included the retention of all existing jobs.
Start-up with a promising future
The forward-looking investment in the e-commerce sector paved the way for Hotelplan Group’s start-up entry into the US market: bedfinder now offers worldwide B2C and B2B travel services. This entails on the one hand selling travel products directly to the customer through modern web platforms; on the other hand, bedfinder also makes so-called ‘white label’ products, technology and fulfilment services available to interested partners. bedfinder is the start-up venture within the Hotelplan Group and is tasked with driving innovation and digitalization. An excellent IT infrastructure, 24/7 customer support and solid, longstanding expertise in the travel business provide an ideal basis for the new endeavour. Hotels all over the globe went on offer in the US source market for the first time in September 2016. December 2016 saw the UK roll-out of “Book on Google” and the launch of the bedfinder.com platform. Further international markets will be addressed in 2017.
After a challenging year for Hotelplan Group, first trends for the 2016/2017 travel year look promising. “Winter has definitely arrived, which means that Hotelplan UK and Holiday Home Division customers can look forward to their winter holidays as planned. Winter-season bookings at Hotelplan Suisse are also positive, and forward bookings for the summer months even show a double-digit increase. This gives us good reason to be confident in 2017,” says Thomas Stirnimann, CEO Hotelplan Group.