Snoozebox sees loss widen but revenues jump

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Snoozebox is working with Ealing council to create a short-term housing solution (Source: Snoozebox)
Snoozebox reported widening losses in the first half of the year, but insisted its turnaround plans were on track after revenues beat expectations.

The portable hotel chain, which provides temporary accommodation for events such as the British Grand Prix, has had many a sleepless night since floating on Aim in April 2012.

Less than a year after its market debut, the company issued a profit warning with losses almost tripling to £4.4m. It was forced to raise £10.1m from investors to stave off bankruptcy.

Snoozebox’s founder, the hotel veteran Robert Breare, died in July 2013, just months after the profit warning and stepping down as chief executive.

The company’s current chief executive, Lorcan O Murchu, launched a three-year overhaul of the business last year after realising that the costs of setting up its portable rooms for short term events were too high.

It now has two divisions – an events business and a semi-permanent business, which provides rooms for longer periods of time to customers, including Premier Oil, which needed an 80-bedroom hotel for its staff.

It has also been expanding into new sectors such as housing and is working with Ealing council to create a short-term housing solution.

“Last year was about turning around the underlying model and transforming product proposition and you are starting to see that come through. 2015 is about preparing the business for scale,” O Murchu told City A.M.

Snoozebox said investments in the business led to a pre-tax loss of £3.1m in the six months to 30 June compared with the £2.3m loss in the first half of 2014.

Revenues jumped to £2.4m from £700,000 last time.

Shares fell 1.3 per cent to 9.88p. Its initial offer price in 2012 was 40p.

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