Online accommodation booking company Hostelworld has said it has seen continued “softness” in demand over recent months.
The update follows on from a poor set of annual results in April, when Hostelworld reported a near-€5m drop in revenue for 2018 to just over €82m, said adjusted earnings fell by nearly 20% to €21.4m, and said group bookings were flat.
“Hostelworld continues to operate in a highly competitive market where weak consumer sentiment in key EU markets has led to some softness in demand for bookings in recent months,” chairman Michael Cawley told shareholders at the Dublin-based company’s AGM.
The company’s share price — down by over 30% in the past 12 months — fell marginally after the update, but management has stuck with its albeit modest growth outlook for this year.
“While the important summer season is still ahead of us, we currently expect to meet the board’s expectation of modest earnings [EBITDA] growth for the full year,” Mr Cawley said.
Mr Cawley said Hostelworld is making progress with its strategic growth plans, with 2019 being a year of investment in its core brands.
Davy praised the strategy, saying: “Our take on this strategy is that it would give Hostelworld an identity which is much more closely aligned with its core market and its young, dynamic customers.
“We think that the result of the new strategy will be the one feature that was elusive throughout its post-IPO performance — growth.”