EasyHotel eyes expansion as trading beats expectations

EasyHotel eyes expansion as trading beats expectations

EasyHotel is reviewing potential acquisitions including office conversions, greenfield development sites and the conversion of existing hotels.

The disclosure emerged as the super budget chain revealed that trading in the half year to March was “slightly above” expectations.

The performance was mainly driven by like-for-like revenue up 8% at the group’s owned hotels.

These hotels outperformed their competitive set, particularly in the second quarter of the financial year, which is encouraging in the lead up to traditionally the busiest trading months of the year for hoteliers, the company said in a trading update.

Franchise hotel trading, central overheads and pre-opening costs were in line with the board's expectations.

“The company continues to maintain a tight control of costs and is committed to improving its operational efficiency, whilst ensuring it has the appropriate infrastructure and resources in place to execute the company's ambitious growth strategy,” easyHotel said.

Six new hotel projects are in the pipeline including properties in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Ipswich. The company’s first owned hotel outside the UK is due to open in Barcelona in early 2018, subject to planning permission.

The company's Benelux franchisee is expected to open hotels in Amsterdam and Brussels by early 2017.

A development partner in the Middle East is continuing to progress towards its target of 600 rooms in the UAE and Oman by December 2017 having received planning permission for the first 300-room hotel at Bur Dubai.

Chief executive, Guy Parsons, said: "We are very pleased to report that during the first half of the financial year our operational initiatives and strategic focus have had a positive impact, earlier than originally anticipated, on our trading performance and expansion of our development pipeline.

“There remains further scope to improve our revenue. With the right management team in place we can now expand our owned and franchised network in line with our exciting business plan."

A UK development director was appointed in February to support the company's owned hotel growth strategy. This followed the restructuring of the operational and management team during the second half of 2015.

Other key appointments include an operations director, a project manager and a human resources manager. 

The company is due to announce results for the six months to March on May 24.

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