EasyHotel fell into the red last year and has suspended its final dividend payment.

The super budget chain reported a pre-tax loss of £3.57 million against a profit of £870,000 in 2018.

The company said the loss included a £3 million impairment relating to a new 89-room hotel in Ipswich and £1.4 million in costs related to the takeover by Citrus UK Bidco, now a 69% shareholder.

EasyHotel described the hotel market as being “challenging” in the past year due to weak business and consumer confidence impacted by political and economic uncertainties.

Interim chief executive Scott Christie, installed after former chief Guy Parson stepped down in November, said: “Looking to the year ahead, the political and economic landscape will continue to impact consumer confidence.

“However, the board remains confident that the easyHotel brand will continue to outperform the sector as consumers seek out best value for money and we extend our reach beyond the UK into mainland Europe more proactively.

“We are excited by the development pipeline and the potential for the brand in Europe.

“With strong supportive shareholders behind us, the significant investments we have made in the business will ensure we have the resources to continue to expand and enhance the business and deliver the board’s ambitious strategy for targeted growth.”

New chief executive Francois Bacchetta, currently easyJet country director for France and Italy, is due to join the hotel group in the spring.

The chain expects to introduce automated check-in kiosks plus enhancements to its website and app when a new management and booking engine is introduced in the first half of the current financial year ending September 30.

Christie said: “We are working hard to drive revenues and brand awareness through targeted marketing initiatives and improvements in every stage of our customers’ experience – online and at our hotels.

“By offering our customers a good night’s sleep at a super price and a quick and easy way to make a booking, we believe that we will attract new customers and encourage significant repeat visits.”