Hostelworld’s profits and revenue dipped last year as the budget accommodation platform struggled to boost bookings due to the summer heatwave and the timing of the World Cup.
Bookings through Hostelworld’s supporting brands saw 47 per cent drop, due to the company’s planned “managed decline” of the brands which offset a four per cent rise in core bookings.
Operating profit almost halved, from €11.9m in 2017 to 6.7m last year and earnings fell 19 per cent to €21.4m and the travel website reported revenue of €82.1m last year, down from €86.7m the previous year.
However, €2.9m of deferred revenue will be collected off customers this year following the roll out of the company’s free cancellation booking option.
A strategic review carried out by new chief executive Gary Morrison concluded that investment in celebrity sponsored advertising had not been accelerating the business, and that it had suffered from underinvestment in its core offering.
Morrison, who joined the firm from rival Expedia last year, said: “Hostelworld is operating in a highly competitive market, which is growing.
“We have a very relevant brand which is trusted by a loyal and engaged customer base
“Following the completion of our strategic review, we identified and developed a ‘Roadmap for Growth’ programme to allow the group to capitalise on these significant opportunities available and to return the business to growth.”