Hostel­world plots ‘mod­est’ growth

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS - PETER HAMILTON

Hostel­world ex­pects mod­est earn­ings growth next year as it in­vests in new ini­tia­tives iden­ti­fied as part of a strate­gic re­view of the busi­ness by its re­cently-ap­pointed chief ex­ec­u­tive.

In a trad­ing up­date yes­ter­day, the on­line book­ing company said a re­view showed it was “ide­ally po­si­tioned” to pro­vide so­lu­tions to the “unique needs of the hostelling in­dus­try”.

In­vest­ment in core cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion and plat­form en­hance­ments could de­liver a re­turn to growth, the company said.

While Hostel­world in­tended to im­prove its prospects, like-for-like book­ings this year were likely to be flat given “ex­pected de­clines in our sup­port­ing brands”.

‘Grow­ing mar­ket’

“We are op­er­at­ing in an at­trac­tive and grow­ing mar­ket, with a strong and trusted brand, pro­vid­ing rel­e­vant and valu­able cus­tomers to the hos­tel sec­tor,” said chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Mor­ri­son, who was ap­pointed in June.

“We will in­vest in our core prod­ucts, plat­form and ca­pa­bil­i­ties as we strive to im­prove the hostelling ex­pe­ri­ence for trav­ellers and en­hance our tech­nol­ogy of­fer­ing for the ben­e­fit of our core hos­tel part­ners.”

Lacked in­vest­ment

The strat­egy re­view found that Hostel­world’s core plat­form lacked in­vest­ment, and as a re­sult it will be the fo­cus of a longer-term in­vest­ment strat­egy.

Next year the busi­ness plans to im­prove the book­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for users, and to pro­vide unique hos­tel con­tent. In­vest­ment in the company will be self-funded from ex­ist­ing re­sources.

Head­quar­tered in Dublin, Hostel­world will host a cap­i­tal mar­kets day for an­a­lysts this af­ter­noon.

Gary Mor­ri­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Hostel­world: ‘a strong and trusted brand’

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