Monday 21 January 2019 8:34 am

Easyhotel sees sales rise but warns of lower margins in the year ahead

Easyhotel today reported a jump in sales in the first quarter, but warned uncertainty in the year ahead could eat into margins.

The low-budget hotel chain said total sales were up 31 per cent in the three months to the end of December, while revenue soared 60 per cent.

Read more: Easyjet profits set to soar after capitalising on Monarch collapse

Easyhotel said its revenue per available room, a key performance metric for the hotel industry, outperformed competitors with an increase of 11.2 per cent.

But the AIM-listed company, which was founded by Cypriot tycoon Sir Stelios Haji-loannou, warned the 2019 financial year will be more challenging than 2018.

It said the board had decided to drive revenue growth and brand recognition at the expense of gross margin.

While UK were strong, results across Europe were more varied, with the chain underperforming in Holland, the company said. Shares in Easyhotel were down more than three per cent in early trading.

Chief executive Guy Parsons said: “Whilst we are not immune from the ongoing political and economic challenges and their impact on the hotel sector, our robust business model means that we have continued to outperform our markets in the period.”

Easyhotel said it has a number of new developments underway, having recently acquired sites in Bristol and close to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

Read more: Billionaire Reuben Brothers check out of hotel group Belmond in $300m deal

In addition, Easyhotel has seven franchised hotels under development across Europe and in Dubai.

The company is expecting to reopen its Old Street property in the second half of the year after a £7m refurbishment.