EasyHotel swings to half-year loss amid Brexit uncertainty

EasyHotel swung to a loss for the half-year, on the back of the temporary closure of a key site and dampened consumer confidence.

The budget hotel operator slipped to a £120,000 pre-tax loss for the six months to March 31.

It said it fell into the red as it was hit by the temporary closure of its Old Street hotel site in London, as well as higher depreciation on newer hotels.

Total sales during the period jumped 25.3% to £20.2 million as it was buoyed by new openings.

Three new hotels, in Ipswich, Lisbon in Portugal, and Bernkastel-Kues in Germany, with 290 rooms in total, opened during the period and are “trading in line with expectations”.

Five more hotels are expected to open in the second half of the year, with another nine planned for the next full-year as the company pushes forward with rapid expansion plans.

The group’s pipeline of new hotels includes sites in Bristol, Oxford, Blackpool and at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.

However, the firm’s plans come amid a “softening of the hotel market”, with demand weakening quarter on quarter, the company said.

It said “ongoing political and economic uncertainty in the UK has continued to dampen consumer sentiment” over the period.

Chief executive said Guy Parsons: “EasyHotel has delivered a market out-performance and good profitable growth in the first half of the year against a challenging market.

“The tactical decisions taken early in the period to drive market share through our opening strategy has underpinned this, and we have continued to benefit from the impact of our ambitious opening programme.

“Our UK network of owned hotels is already well established, with a strong opening programme in place for the next two years. The group is now focused on replicating this success across Europe.”