Spanish chain Meliá Hotels International saw pre-tax profits rise by 79% last year to €101.6 million over 2014.

Europe’s third largest hotel company with more than 370 properties, strengthened its balance sheet after reducing net debt by €216 million.

Annual revenues increased by 16% to €1.7 billion.

Sales increased by 27% online through while trade sales via were up by 36% as part of a digital transformation.

“ enhances sales and relationships with travel agents who remain one of the essential success factors for MHI, following 60 years of productive collaborations,” the chain said..

The company plans to enter new markets this year by opening 25 new hotels, including hotels in the US, Jamaica and Tenerife.

Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, vice chairman and chief executive of Meliá Hotels International, said: “As we begin 2016, which marks MHI’s 60th anniversary, we start the year in a stronger position than ever before, both in terms of the business and our financial position.

“MHI’s strategic plan to be presented during 2016 aims to further consolidate our brands, our digital commitment and strengthen the competitiveness and positioning of the group.”