Monday 3 February 2020 12:43 pm

Hostel chain Safestay reports strong start to 2020

Boutique hostel brand Safestay said it had “momentum” going into this year after sales surged in 2019 following its portfolio expansion.

Total revenue increased 25 per cent to £18.3m last year as the hostel chain opened eight new venues, taking its total portfolio to 21 sites and more than 5,100 beds. 

Like-for-like revenue was up seven per cent in the year ended 31 December, and bed occupancy was 77.3 per cent, up from 75.6 per cent. 

Food and drink revenue was up 43 per cent during the year supported by the refurbishment of restaurants in Barcelona, Elephant and Castle and Edinburgh, part of its pledge to invest £1.8m in refurbishment and renovation programmes across 2019 and 2020. 

Safestay said last year’s financial performance and investment has created “real momentum” going into 2020, and forward bookings for the first quarter have been “very encouraging”.

The company also announced that last month it agreed a new five year £23m loan facility with HSBC.

Safestay chairman Larry Lipman said: “In 2019 we near doubled the size of the Safestay network. In doing so, the Safestay brand has become Europe’s leading premium hostel network totalling 21 sites, all in sought-after central locations in the UK and Europe’s best known cities.

“The brand is now well established and positioned to sell over a million bed nights in 2020 in unique hostels ranging from Edinburgh to Athens.

“Trading in 2019 was good, all key indicators were strongly positive, in particular the organic growth performance, and critically we have yet to really benefit from the recent acquisitions agreed towards the end of the year.

“Safestay is therefore well placed to grow substantially in 2020 and take advantage of the increasing popularity of the modern hostel sector.”