Hostelworld plots ‘modest’ earnings growth in 2019

Online booking company has completed strategic review

Hostelworld chief executive Gary Morrison

Hostelworld chief executive Gary Morrison

 

Hostelworld expects modest earnings growth next year as it invests in new initiatives identified as part of a strategic revue into the business by its recently-appointed chief executive.

In a trading update on Thursday the online booking company said a revue showed that it was “ideally positioned” to provide solutions to the “unique needs of the hostelling industry”.

Investment in core customer acquisition and platform enhancements could deliver a return to growth, the company said.

While Hostelworld intended to improve its prospects, like-for-like bookings this year were likely to be flat given “expected declines in our supporting brands”.

“We are operating in an attractive and growing market, with a strong and trusted brand, providing relevant and valuable customers to the hostel sector,” said chief executive Gary Morrison, who was appointed in June 2018.

“We will invest in our core products, platform and capabilities as we strive to improve the hostelling experience for travellers and enhance our technology offering for the benefit of our core hostel partners.”

The strategy review found that Hostelworld’s core platform lacked investment, and as a result it will be the focus of a longer term investment strategy.

Next year the business plans to improve the booking experience for users, and provide unique hostel content. Growth and investment in the company will be self-funding from existing resources.

Headquartered in Dublin, Hostelworld will host a capital markets day for analysts this Friday.