Terrorism and Brexit hurt Ireland's Hostelworld

A rocky ride since going public late last year...

Hostelworld, the Irish low budget accommodation booking company that floated on the London and Dublin stock markets late last year, has reported a difficult start to life as a public company.

It has reported profits of €7.7 million for the first six months of the year, a 9% fall of €1.1m on the same period last year.

Interim revenue at the firm also fell to €40.2m, down by approximately €3.5m.

The company cited the combined impact of terrorist attacks on travel demand, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and its own decision to cease lower margin business as the key reasons for the hits.

On the positive side, Hostelworld said it saw strong growth during the period in emerging markets – bookings to Asian markets were up 30% – while trading during the key months of July and August was in line with expectations.

It anticipates that it will still meet expectations for the full year.

Chief executive Feargal Mooney said of the results:

"Reflecting a key strategic focus of the Group on the Hostelworld brand and more profitable channels and to discontinue lower margin business, bookings in our supporting brands now represent just 15% of the Group total.

"We will continue to manage the risks to our business posed by the impact of terrorist attacks on travel demand and patterns and by macro-economic uncertainties and currency fluctuations surrounding Brexit and, based on performance for the year to date, our expectations for the full year are unchanged." 

Hostelworld floated on the London market last November at 185p sterling – two of its major shareholders sold their combined 25% stake in the company in April at 260p per share. The share price closed last night at 156p.