Budget Asia and central America demand helps power Hostelworld growth

Strong demand for budget destinations in Asia and central America helped fuel first half growth for Hostelworld.

The low cost accommodation OTA achieved a 9% rise in year-on-year bookings to 3.7 million in the first six months of the year.

First half adjusted profits almost doubled to €9.6 million compared to €5.1 million in the first half of 2023. Net revenue rose by 1% to €46.4 million.

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This was achieved despite a 10% fall in net average booking values to €13.60, driven by a greater proportion of Asian destination bookings and a slight increase in the proportion of solo travellers.

Group chief executive Gary Morrison said in a trading update: “I am very pleased with our performance for the year to date, driven by strong consumer demand for low cost destinations in Asia and Central America. 

“Over the balance of the year, we expect consumer demand for low cost destinations to continue, resulting in revenue growth lagging net bookings growth on a full year basis.

“I am also pleased that marketing expense as a proportion of revenue has improved significantly year-on-year resulting in a 23% increase in net margin year-on-year driven primarily by our social strategy, despite the significant growth in lower cost destinations driving lower average booking values. 

“This net margin growth coupled with our continuing focus on cost has delivered an 88% increase in adjusted ebitda year-on-year, which has enabled us to fully repay our residual debt facility well ahead of schedule.

“Looking ahead, I remain very confident in our growth strategy and that we are well positioned, well financed and firmly on track to deliver against our objectives.”

The group is due to report results for the six months to June 30 on August 8.

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