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Hotelplan Suisse posts substantial operating profit

Hotelplan GroupMarch 1, 2013
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Hotelplan Suisse, the largest country organization within the Hotelplan Group, achieved an operating profit for 2011/2012 that was a substantial improvement on the previous financial year. The Group's Swiss business posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of CHF 17.3 million and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of CHF 9.9 million. The results were achieved despite the cessation of operations at Hello Airlines and lower average sales prices in the wake of price reductions.

The overall performance of the Hotelplan Group in the 2011/2012 financial year, which ran to 31 October 2012, was adversely affected by business declines in the Italian market. Hotelplan Suisse, by contrast, posted a substantial operating profit for the year. The Hotelplan Group as a whole generated invoiced turnover of CHF 1'517.7 million, a 9.7% decline on the prior-year level. Group EBITDA amounted to CHF 1.1 million and Group EBIT to CHF -25.9 million, while underlying EBIT stood at CHF -4.8 million. The main reason for the negative Group EBIT results was the steep fall in turnover and the associated extensive structural adjustments at Hotelplan Italia, which could not be fully offset by the Group's other units. The restructuring of these Italian operations - which should help tangibly improve the unit's performance - will remain a prime focus in the current business year, along with the further development of the hotelplan.ch dynamic reservations platform that was launched six months ago.

Hotelplan Suisse: Swiss tour operator confirms turnaround

Hotelplan Suisse posted favourable results for the year: despite a decline in turnover and costs of CHF 1.0 million that were incurred through the insolvency of Hello Airlines, the unit achieved an EBITDA of CHF 17.3 million and an EBIT of CHF 9.9 million, a 57.1% improvement on the prior-year result. Invoiced turnover declined 5.9% or CHF 53.4 million to CHF 844.6 million. Initial projections for the current business year show modest booking levels for the winter season. But 2013 summer bookings have been encouraging to date in passenger volume terms.

Interhome Group: vacation home rental agency reports a positive EBIT result

Interhome, which is Europe's leading vacation home rental agency, generated turnover of CHF 181.0 million for 2011/2012, a slight 2.6% decline on the previous business year. EBITDA amounted to CHF 2.6 million (EBIT: CHF 1.1 million), compared to CHF 5.0 million (EBIT: CHF 3.5 million) a year earlier. Booking levels are currently slightly above their prior-year equivalents. Following the addition of Interhome properties to the booking.com website six months ago and the launch of a new iPad App at the beginning of 2013, the company's direct sales channels are showing encouraging trends, especially in the online segment.

Travelwindow Group: Scandinavian expansion halted

The Travelwindow Group achieved invoiced turnover of CHF 70.6 million for the year, a CHF 3.9 million decline on 2010/2011. EBITDA totalled CHF -1.6 million (EBIT: CHF -2.3 million). The Travelwindow Group and its business operations have been subjected to an extensive strategic review over the past six months. These actions have seen the company close its travel.se portal for the Swedish market, with associated writeoffs of CHF 0.5 million. Following this and various further structural adjustments, the online travel agency is now in good shape for the current business year, as is confirmed by its positive recent booking trends. The company has a new CEO, Martin Scheuer, who assumed his position in February 2013.

Hotelplan UK: stable booking volumes for the ski holiday specialist

Hotelplan UK, which specializes in ski travel arrangements, achieved turnover for 2011/2012 of GBP 181.5 million, broadly in line with prior-year levels. EBITDA declined from the GBP 4.9 million of 2010/2011 to GBP 1.3 million, while EBIT fell from GBP 2.0 million to GBP -0.8 million. The prior-year earnings did, however, include income from the sale of the former head office, while 2011/2012 results include the costs of moving to the new business premises. Bookings for the current winter season are encouragingly above their prior-year levels.

Hotelplan Italia: steep declines in the Italian travel market

Hotelplan Italia sustained a 26.3% fall in its turnover for the year, which totalled EUR 108.1 million. EBITDA amounted to EUR -16.7 million, while EBIT, after goodwill was amortized in full, stood at EUR ‑20.6 million, a EUR 10.1 million decline from its prior-year level. Despite massive falls in demand and a difficult business environment in the Italian travel and tour operating market, the Hotelplan Group still has full faith in Hotelplan Italia, and has subjected the company to a total realignment with substantial structural adjustments. The new strategy will see Hotelplan Italia focus on its core competencies, i.e. the long-haul business and - under its existing Turisanda specialist brand - on Egypt, offering Nile cruises and Red Sea beach holidays. At the same time, the company will also make a particular effort to strengthen its distribution network. The extensive restructuring will also see the Hotelplan Italia workforce reduced by around two-thirds. The company has a new CEO: Luca Battifora, who took up his duties in February 2013.

Hotelplan Group outlook: maximizing new technologies in uncertain business times

The restructuring of the Hotelplan Group's Italian operations, which should be completed by May 2013, will deliver substantial cost savings in the next business year. "Our Italian business was posting very poor results which were adversely impacting on the entire Group," says Thomas Stirnimann, CEO Hotelplan Group. "On a brighter note, our Hotelplan Suisse operations have more than confirmed their turnaround after the tough times of the past three years. And our patience here and the restructurings we have undertaken are now reaping their rewards." Hotelplan Suisse also continues to develop, refine and further expand the dynamic tour operating which was introduced in September 2012. Having been successfully adopted for the hotelplan.ch website, the technology concerned is now being extended to the web platforms of Hotelplan Suisse's further travel brands to meet the needs and the booking behaviour of the company's customers - a requirement which is more vital than ever in these far-from-certain economic and political times.

Bianca Gähweiler

Head of Corporate Communications

Bianca Gähweiler

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