Package of Hostelworld chief topped €700,000 last year

Company warns of Brexit and currency headwinds during the coming year

The group’s flagship brand, Hostelworld, represented 93 per cent of total bookings as compared with 87 per cent in 2016.

Hostelworld chief executive Feargal Mooney received a salary and bonus in excess of €700,000 last year, the company's annual report shows.

Mr Mooney received a salary of €410,000, which was topped up by a bonus of €308,894. Maxi Hurley, the company’s chief financial officer, received a salary of €282,000 but received no bonus after announcing her intention to resign in December.

Hostelworld’s remuneration committee reviewed Mr Mooney’s salary and determined that an increase of 2 per cent was warranted for the current year following a benchmarking exercise.

Administration expenses at the company increased by €3 million, or 5 per cent, to €60.4 million in 2017.


A contributing factor for this was the increase in staff and other administration costs due to the investment in a technology development centre in Portugal during the year, which will further increase the development capacity of the company.

Gross staff costs increased from €16.3 million to €18.7 million. Average headcount increased by 5 per cent from 241 in 2016 to 254 in 2017.

In terms of outlook, Hostelworld chairman Michael Cawley said market conditions remain "uncertain" and highlighted Britain's exit from the European Union next year and volatile exchange rates as key concerns.

“Market conditions, particularly in Europe, remain uncertain and while volume bookings in the first quarter of 2018 are in line with expectations, weaker exchange rates, particularly for the US dollar, remain a significant headwind,” he said.

The company said the nature of the principal risks and uncertainties facing it is “on the whole unchanged”, although, external geopolitical factors, including Brexit, “continue to impact the group’s risk profile in certain areas”.

“The most significant of these factors is the volatility in exchange rates to the euro, in particular that of the US dollar and the continued incidence of terrorism,” it said.

“Individually or together, these risks could affect our ability to operate as planned, and could have a significant impact on revenue and shareholder returns.

“Additional risks and uncertainties, including those that have not been identified to date or are currently deemed immaterial, may also, individually or together, have a negative impact on our revenue, returns, or financial condition.”

Earlier this month, it was reported that pretax profit at Hostelworld rose to €11.8 million last year as group revenue rose 8 per cent to €86.7 million.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter