(Alliance News) - Dublin-headquartered Hostelworld Group PLC on Wednesday said it swung to a substantial loss in the first half of 2020 as Covid-19 travel restrictions severely hurt revenue.
The hostel-focused online booking platform's pretax loss for the six months ended June 30 came to EUR18.8 million, a far cry from the previous year's EUR394 million profit.
Revenue dropped 69% to EUR12.0 million from EUR38.8 million the year before as travel halted under the pandemic.
Net bookings plummeted 67%, with a net booking volume declining to 1.1 million from 3.5 million. Net average booking value was also lower at EUR9.45, compared to EUR12.40 year-on-year as a result of increased cancellations.
Chief Executive Gary Morrison said: "Over the last few months we have taken the opportunity to accelerate our Roadmap for Growth program to strengthen our core platform, completing items planned for H2 2020 and 2021 ahead of schedule. Consistent with our growth strategy, which builds on our Roadmap for Growth, we also intend to broaden the catalogue of experiences and social features we offer our customers, beyond hostel accommodation. Given the current trading backdrop, we remain focused on organic initiatives in the near term, until a resumption of normal trading.
"While the short-term outlook for the travel industry remains extremely challenging, I remain confident that Hostelworld will emerge from the Covid-19 crisis stronger than before."
No annual guidance was provided, given "continued market uncertainty" surrounding Covid-19, and the company has suspended its dividend for the same reason.
Shares in Hostelworld were down 0.9% at 62.32 pence in London on late Wednesday morning.
By Anna Farley; firstname.lastname@example.org
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