EasyHotel to expand into Middle East as profits rise

EasyHotel to expand into Middle East as profits rise

Budget chain easyHotel expects better than expected growth opportunities as it seeks to expand its network of 21 hotels.

Reporting a 38% rise in pre-tax profits to £790,000 in the year to September, the company described the business as performing in line with expectations.

Total sales rose by 15% to £19.95 million year-on-year as occupancy levels came in at 76.4%.

The company plans to open hotels in Manchester and Liverpool in the 2016-17 financial year and is to develop more than 1,600 rooms in the UAE and Oman by the end of 2020. A 107-room franchised property is due to open in Brussels by early 2017.

Chief executive, Guy Parsons, a former boss of Travelodge, revealed that the company has identified the potential for 12,000 owned easyHotel rooms, two thirds of which are in more than 30 cities and Greater London in the UK, the remainder being in key gateway European cities.

Parsons, who conducted a review of the business following his arrival, said: “The focus is primarily on acquiring conversion and new build sites that are in close proximity to good transport links as well as food and beverage facilities.

“Since August, several interesting sites have been identified which we are currently evaluating and negotiating.

“From early 2016 our development activities will be led by a newly appointed UK development director who has a proven track record in developing budget hotel chains including many years at a major UK hotel company.

“The board has concluded that whilst it intends to accelerate the overall development plan, it is prudent to assume that it will take, on average, two years to identify, purchase and convert sites before opening.”

Reviewing the past year, he said: "Since my appointment in August, essential and important operational improvements have been introduced to enhance the efficiency and scalability of our business, and to enable us to identify and develop new sites more quickly, as well as improve our RevPar [reveue per available room] performance.”

Parsons added: "The scale of opportunity we have in the UK and Europe is larger than was previously thought.

“Through a mix of owned and franchised hotels and an accelerated pace of openings, I believe that we have the opportunity to establish ourselves as the leading branded super budget hotel chain and create significant value for shareholders and stakeholders."

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