Online accommodation booking service Hostelworld back on track as bookings increase 21%

Recently floated online accommodation booking service, Hostelworld has said it remains on course to meet full-year financial targets for 2015 and to announce its first dividend as a public company in April, as targeted at the time of its initial public offering late last year.

The Dublin-based company was founded in 1999 by IT entrepreneur Ray Nolan and hostel owner Tom Kennedy and sold to US private equity house, Hellman and Friedman for around €250m a decade later.

It raised over €180m from a dual listing on the Irish and London stock exchanges in November, nearly 12 months after closing the year with a €200m deficit.

Yesterday, the company said it saw a strong second half to 2015, with bookings via its flagship Hostelworld brand rising 21%, year-on-year and 17% for the full year.

Bookings made via mobile devices related to more than 40% of all bookings.

“Following the rebranding of the Hostelworld and Hostelbookers websites, the integration of the group’s technology platforms, the continuing advancement of our mobile offering and November’s successful IPO, we look forward to the current year, and beyond, with confidence,” chief executive, Feargal Mooney said in the company’s latest trading update.

Across all brands, the group returned to overall bookings growth during the second half of last year, with business up 2%.

“The drivers behind the financial performance provide most comfort.

“The company confirmed bookings on the Hostelworld brand saw sustained growth even after the initial impact of the June marketing campaign,” said Ross Harvey of Davy Stockbrokers.


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