Munich, Germany, 24 March 2017 – Despite the difficulties encountered by the travel industry in 2016, HolidayCheck Group AG can look back on a successful year. Both revenue and operating EBITDA (earnings from operating activities before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) were on target. In its first year since adopting a new strategic focus on the holiday sector, the company expanded its share of the online package holiday market in Germany to take the number one position.
In 2016, Europe’s package holiday sector was hit primarily by a series of terrorist attacks in popular holiday regions around the Mediterranean. This situation was exacerbated in July 2016 by political developments in the form of an attempted coup in Turkey. The resulting security concerns among holidaymakers led to a significant increase in the cancellation rate for holidays that had already been booked.
Despite an eventual recovery in the last quarter of 2016, over the year as a whole the revenue generated by the European package holiday industry fell by several percent.
Against this background, HolidayCheck Group AG nevertheless managed to increase its revenue by 3.5 percent from EUR 103.5 million in the previous year to EUR 107.1 million in 2016. Before adjustments, the revenue rose by 2.8 percent from EUR 104.4 million to EUR 107.3 million.
At EUR 22.7 million, fourth-quarter revenue in 2016 was 8.6 percent higher year on year (fourth quarter 2015: EUR 20.9 million) on the back of improved booking demand.
As planned, revenue at the company’s Dutch subsidiaries Tomorrow Travel B.V. and WebAssets B.V. remained below the level of the previous year. This was mainly due to the sale in 2015 of the travel agency operations of Tjingo and Zoover and the almost complete discontinuation of WeerOnline’s B2B activities. By contrast, our Swiss subsidiary reported a modest increase in revenue in the financial year 2016.
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) rose to EUR 2.8 million in 2016 compared with the previous year’s figure of EUR 1.6 million (up 75.0 percent).
Operating EBITDA (earnings from operating activities before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) stood at EUR 2.7 million in 2016, down 57.8 percent on the figure of EUR 6.4 million reported for 2015. As such, the company achieved the target it had set in the previous year of at least breaking even in terms of Group operating EBITDA.
EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) showed an improvement from minus EUR 14.5 million in 2015 to minus EUR 3.0 million in the year under review.
The financial result stood at EUR 0.2 million for 2016 compared with minus EUR 1.9 million in the previous year.
EBT (earnings before taxes) improved from minus EUR 16.4 million in 2015 to minus EUR 2.8 million in the year under review.
Group earnings from continuing operations improved from minus EUR 16.4 million in 2015 to minus EUR 2.8 million in 2016.
Diluted and basic earnings per share from continuing operations improved from minus EUR 0.28 in the previous year to minus EUR 0.04 in 2016.
Following a sharp decline in total liabilities, the Group’s equity ratio as at 31 December 2016 stood at 86.1 percent compared with 76.3 percent at the end of 2015.
The year-end figure for cash and cash equivalents was EUR 40.1 million (31 December 2015: EUR 63.7 million).
HolidayCheck Group AG’s vision is to become the most holidaymaker-friendly company in the world. Our goal is to expand the HolidayCheck Group and make it the first choice for holidaymakers in the German-speaking area (Germany, Austria and part of Switzerland) and Benelux countries.
To this end, over the course of 2017, the Management Board plans to make targeted investments in the further development of our existing products and services in the core fields of package holidays and ‘hotel only’ bookings as well as new products and services in adjoining areas. We will also expand our successful and fast-growing service offering customised travel advice.
In addition, the Management Board plans to increase investment in brand positioning, especially at HolidayCheck.
With the help of these measures, the Management Board aims over the medium term to improve the overall experience for holidaymakers and therefore generate sustainable and faster revenue growth alongside a slower increase in our marketing and personnel costs.
Excluding any equity investment acquisitions and disposals of long-term equity investments, the Management Board’s forecast for 2017 anticipates a high single-digit percentage increase in Group revenue.
Targeted investments in personnel and marketing are designed to support the sustainable expansion of our portfolio of travel products and advice services. On this basis, the Management Board’s forecast for operating EBITDA in financial 2017 is a range between minus EUR 5 million and EUR 0 million.
In the first two months of 2017, HolidayCheck Group AG generated an increase in revenue, above the forecast rate of growth. Over the same period, operating EBITDA was also ahead of forecast. In the view of the Management Board, we will need to see the Group’s operating results for the second and third quarters before we can point to a sustained trend for the year as a whole.
About HolidayCheck Group AG:
HolidayCheck Group AG (ISIN DE005495329), Munich, Germany, is one of Europe’s leading digital travel firms for holidaymakers. With a total workforce of around 400, HolidayCheck Group AG comprises HolidayCheck AG (which operates hotel review and travel booking portals by the same name, and the car rental portal MietwagenCheck) and WebAssets B.V. (which operates the Zoover hotel review portals and the MeteoVista/WeerOnline weather portals). HolidayCheck Group’s vision is to become the world’s most holidaymaker-friendly company in the world.