"Transformational year" for hostel operator Safestay

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 02 June 2020

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UK: Hostel operator Safestay has reported turnover of £18.4 million for 2019, and adjusted EBITDA of £6.1 million.

A pre-tax loss of £0.6 million was at the same level as 2018. During the year to December 31 the company said it achieved 77.3 per cent occupancy and increased its average bed rate by 5.4 per cent to £20.40.

During 2019 Safestay grew its portfolio from 13 to 20 hostels taking its total number of beds to 4,900.

Its Elephant & Castle hostel in London was revalued at £26.8 million during the year after a 73-bed extension.

Earlier this year Safestay increased its debt facility with HSBC from £17.9 million to £22.9 million on a new five-year term.

The company closed its hostels on April 1 because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Its management focus is currently on preparing for a staggered re-opening plan which will initially target domestic visitors in each country it operates in.

chairman Larry Lipman said; “2019 was a transformational year for Safestay. We secured the financial stability of the business and we are now working on our plans to re-open our hostels on a staggered basis, over the course of 2020, as and when we believe they can be profitable. Our focus is on ensuring the safety of our guests, initially targeting the domestic markets in each country, and then looking to gradually return to normal trading patterns. Navigating the re-engagement of the business will require us to be highly flexible as we test and match demand in individual markets, however, we are confident of being able to do this and making sure that we balance increased operational cost with increased income. From an industry perspective, the hostel market is highly fragmented with a large number of small operators who are under pressure as a result of the pandemic and this may well create unique opportunities for Safestay.”

 

 

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