easyHotel has shown progress in the first six months of the financial year, underpinned by successful fund raising in March, continuing through to the second half with trading for the full year in line with the Board’s expectations.
This strong performance across the easyhotel portfolio reflects growing momentum in the business, which continues to benefit from our recent strategic initiatives enabling the acceleration of growth plans.
The new revenue management system launched last year has been reported to be effective. This, combined with the excellent performance of newly opened hotels and the impact of a busy opening programme (including launching nine owned and franchised hotels during the period), has delivered strong sales growth.
New Hotel Openings
During the period new owned hotel openings added 610 rooms in Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield and Barcelona, their first owned hotel in Europe. These hotels are reported to have performed well, mirroring the strong performance of Birmingham and Manchester hotels opened last year.
The Group continued to expand its franchise portfolio opening four new hotels (297 rooms) in Belfast, Reading, Scheveningen Beach and Maastricht.
These combined openings significantly increased the Group’s portfolio room count by 42%, bringing the total network to 33 hotels and 3,068 rooms across 27 cities.
Owned Hotel Refurbishment
The Group has also refurbished its Croydon and Glasgow hotels to bring them in line with the new brand format. This investment is reported to have been immediately earnings enhancing.
As previously announced, the Group will also be undertaking a full refurbishment of its property at 80 Old Street. The Board has taken the decision to shut the entire building from December 2018 instead of a rolling refurbishment programme and expects to re-open the building as an 89 bedroom hotel and 15,500 sq ft of office accommodation in the second half of 2019.
The total cost for the development is expected to be approximately £7m and the Board say it is confident that this investment will maximise the value from the property for the long-term benefit of shareholders.