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Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


Soho House Parent Changes Name to, Surprise, Soho House & Co.

1 year ago

Membership Collective Group is best known for its Soho House upscale member’s clubs and hotels and for being unprofitable for decades. The London-based company wants to change both of those things, it said during a Wednesday earnings call.

In a few weeks, it will change its name to Soho House & Co., and its executives said they have a path to profitability.

On Wednesday, Membership Collective Group reported that it had narrowed its losses in the fourth quarter, year-over-year. It had a loss of $13 million on revenue of $270 million.

“We’ve raised prices by a double-digit percentage this year,” Carnie said on Wednesday. “Since we’ve increased our new member pricing, we continue to see super high applications, which shows the strength of our business.”

Total members grew to 226,830, up 7 percent on the previous quarter.

The company forecasts that its 2023 revenue will come in between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion. That partly reflects a moderation in the pace of its network expansion. The company is returning to a 5 to 7 openings a year pace — which is a pace that’s easier to streamline and keep profitable.

The company’s streamlining push has a few key areas, including analyzing data to find operational efficiencies.

Data analysis has, for instance, shown that its members are using their facilities just as much post-pandemic as before Covid, but they’re doing so at different times. So the company has adjusted how it schedules its staffing to reduce its in-house operating expenses.

“Wages as a percentage of revenues dropped approximately 1,000 basis points in December versus August last year,” Carnie said of this initiative’s impact.

The company has been trimming the production of content, digital, and other corporate expenses. In one example, it will cut its “editorial content” expenditure by about 40 percent “going forward.”

In recent months, the company said it has found “sizable opportunities” to be more cost-efficient in how it procures supplies for its food-and-beverage offerings.

“The changes we’ve made in our F&B program continue to drive growth margin expansion with like-for-like F&B margins 230 basis points above the final quarter of 2019,” Carnie said.

“It’s still early days in terms of driving the benefits of these profit initiatives, and we have much more to go,” Carnie said. “But we’re on track, and we feel confident that this will help us generate stronger, more [consistent] earnings going forward.”


Nigeria’s Transcorp Hotels Returns to Profit and Plans Expansion

1 year ago

Nigeria’s Transcorp Hotels, one of Nigeria’s biggest hotel players, reported that it had returned to profit in 2022 after a rough pandemic.

The company reported a full-year 2022 profit before tax of $9.8 million (4.5 billion Nigerian naira) on $68.2 million (31.4 billion naira) in revenue.

“This impressive achievement is the highest revenue generated since the inception of the company,” said Dupe Olusola, CEO and managing director. “The full-fledged return of the international business travel segment and the bolstering leisure segment contributed immensely to this performance.”   

The company doubled its net profit margin year over year from 7 percent in 2021 to 14 percent in the year 2022. It reported a $5.6 million (2.6 billion naira) profit after tax.  

But the operator and the owner of landmark properties Transcorp Hilton Abuja and Transcorp Hotels Calabar still has potential room to grow for profitability. Its profit after tax in 2022 was the same as it was in 2015, a year when the country endured a six-week closure of its major airport.

Dupe Olusola, CEO and managing director. Source: Transcorp Hotels.

Transcorp Hotels is a hotel operator that’s a three-decade-old subsidiary of the conglomerate Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, with interests in energy and agriculture.

The Transcorp Hilton Abuja will add a state-of-the-art convention center this year, after having just added a premium spa. A luxury hotel in central Lagos is also in development. 

Since 2021, the company has been attempting an expansion into Airbnb-like travel categories by running a listing marketplace for vacation rentals and experiences. Transcorp Hotels, runs Aura, a mobile booking app and website that lets entrepreneurs list short-term rentals, tours, activities, and restaurants, as Skift has profiled before.

For a profile earlier this month on CEO Olussola, read Nigeria’s Independent.

Short-Term Rentals

HomeToGo Earns $155 million in 2022 Revenue, Surpasses Initial Guidance

1 year ago

German vacation rental marketplace HomeToGo’s revenue grew to €146 million ($155 million) in 2022, up 54 percent from the comparable period in 2021. This is well ahead of its initial guidance of €120-125 million ($127-$132 million) for 2022. The announcement is part of the company’s preliminary results for 2022. 

During the same period, the Berlin-based company’s subscriptions and services grew to €24 million ($25.4 million) increasing by 169 percent from €9 million ($9.5 million) in 2021. Its onsite revenues, where travelers booked directly on the company’s websites, grew to €67 million ($71 million), up by 111 percent from €32 million ($34 million) from 2021. 

A resort listed on HomeToGo in Williamsburg, Virginia. Source: HomeToGo

Founded in 2014, HomeToGo currently operates localized apps and websites in 25 countries.

In January this year, the company said it was on track to break even in 2023, buoyed by the optimism of a much greater backlog of bookings at the beginning of 2023 than the previous year. The booking backlog of €32.5 million ($34.5 million) amounted to a 72 percent year-over-year increase.

“One key piece of this has been our clear focus on an efficient marketing strategy to drive and scale repeat demand,” HomeToGo CFO ​​Steffen Schneider told Skift in January. 

HomeToGo raised a total of $176 million in private funding over six rounds, and has acquired 10 companies, a prominent one being e-domizil for $45 million in March 2022. 

Travel Technology

Mondee Doubled Revenue and Net Loss in Its Year Going Public

1 year ago

Mondee has been going through a lot of changes over the last year, and the numbers shared during its latest earnings call reflect that.

Mondee more than doubled annual gross revenue in 2022 to $2.2 billion. The company also had a net loss of $87 million in 2022, compared with $39 million in 2021, because of various one-time expenses mostly related to the way the company went public in July 2022. 

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization was $16 million in 2022, an increase of more than $20 million.

Mondee provides travel agents access to a marketplace for booking on behalf of their customers. Travel agents access that marketplace, as well as ancillary software products to manage their business, through a Mondee software platform. 

As the company continues to focus on expanding its services and geographical footprint, it projects net revenue growth of 47 percent for 2023.

About 80 percent of Mondee’s bookings are for flights, the rest comprised of hotels and car rentals. The company plans to soon expand offerings to include cruises, theaters, theme parks, sporting events, and other ticketed events. 

Historically focused on North America, Mondee is working to expand in Latin America, India, and Europe, in that order. 

Mondee earlier this year acquired Orinter, a similar company based in Brazil, for $40 million as part of its expansion to Brazil and Latin America. 

“We plan to continue aggressively executing a targeted, accretive acquisition strategy, which will help accelerate our growth and expansion into new geographies as well as offerings of new products and services,” Prasad Gundumogula, chairman and CEO of Mondee, said during the call Tuesday morning. 

Gundumogula said he believes that demand by younger generations for more tech-forward options is a significant driver of the company’s growth, and that will help mitigate headwinds like inflation, high fuel costs, and economic uncertainty. 

The Mondee stock price was at $11.29 late Tuesday morning, up 10.9 percent year to date.


Marriott Vacations Sees Timeshare Strength on Torrid Leisure Travel Demand

1 year ago

Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp‘s new CEO John Geller said on Thursday that the company’s fourth-quarter earnings underscored continued strength in leisure demand for its timeshare properties, package tours, and other offerings for travelers, despite talk of economic uncertainty.

In the fourth quarter, the company generated a net income of $88 million off of $1.19 billion in revenue. Revenue rose 8 percent year-over-year, thanks partly to the company’s lodging averaging nearly 90 percent occupancy.

The company said consolidated vacation ownership contract sales — a key metric in the sector — was $454 million in the quarter, up from $406 million a year earlier. Executives forecasted that the company would end 2023 with contract sales up between 5 percent and 9 percent.

Thursday was the first earnings call for John Geller as the company’s CEO, president and director.

“The past two months have felt a lot like when I joined the company just over 13 years ago, full of potential and possibility. Long term, I expect our timeshare and exchange business to remain the core of our business model while we look to add to our growth by diversifying into adjacent leisure-focused businesses where we can leverage our core capabilities. And finally, I want us to find new ways to unlock the power of data through advanced analytics to improve efficiency and drive top-line growth.”

—John Geller, CEO of Marriott Vacations

Marriott Vacations Worldwide’s international active members rose 21 percent year-over-year to 1.6 million.

But average revenue per member — another key performance metric — fell by 17 percent year-over-year.

In January, the company said that beginning this summer, it would rebrand all of its recently acquired Hyatt legacy Welk resorts as Hyatt Vacation Club.

Later this year, it plans to expand the vacation experiences available to Hyatt owners with a new exchange option called Beyond, allowing them to use their ownership for cruises, tours and hotel stays.

Earlier this month, the company acquired a parcel of land in Charleston, South Carolina, where it plans to develop a 50-unit Marriott branded resort, including a new on-site sales gallery by 2025.


MGM Resorts Forecasts March to Be the Best Month for Its Las Vegas Hotels Ever

1 year ago

MGM Resorts International reported earnings for the fourth quarter of 2022 on Wednesday. Here are key points about the operator of 32 hotels and casinos in the U.S. and Macau.

Revenue and losses:

The Las Vegas-based company reported a net income of $284 million on revenue of $3.6 billion for the last quarter of 2022. That compared favorably to half as much net income and 18 percent less revenue for the same period a year earlier.

Hotel segment:

“The calendar in March is positioned to have us have the best hotel revenue month, we believe, in our history,” said Bill Hornbuckle, president and CEO, during a call with analysts. Hornbuckle said demand for upcoming events in Las Vegas is driving demand for its hotels.

Worldwide, the company’s forecasts for the business volume in travel in its key markets were quite positive, though Macau is a developing situation.

MGM’s hotel revenues in full-year 2022 were up 95 percent from the previous year.
Occupancy was 89 percent, compared to 74 percent in 2021.

Average daily rate was up by a third compared to a year earlier. In the full-year 2022, MGM’s properties on the Las Vegas Strip specifically had an average daily rate of $229, up by a third over 2021. Occupancy improved 15 percentage points, year-over-year.


Loews Hotels 2022 Profit Up 51 Percent From Pre-Pandemic Levels

1 year ago

In full-year 2022, the Loews Hotels chain of 25 luxury properties generated $345 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization — a measure of profit — on revenue of $721 million, its parent company reported on Monday.

The hotel unit’s adjusted earnings were roughly 51 percent higher than the pre-pandemic 2019 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $227 million.

CORRECTION: This post originally misstated Loews Hotels’ adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization for 2022 and its relationship to the 2019 figure.

Using a different metric, Loews Hotels’ performance was even more impressive. In full-year 2022, the chain generated $161 million in net income compared to a loss of $28 million in 2019.

For the year, Loews Corp., a New York City-based conglomerate that runs insurance, energy, and hotel business units, generated $1 billion in net income from $14 billion in revenue.

Loews Hotels’ results significantly improved due to higher occupancy of 79 percent and average daily room rates of $257, as travel rebounded from the impacts of the pandemic, the company said.

Here are the 2022 figures:

In 2019, the brand was getting an average nightly rate of $288 and had 84.6 percent occupancy across its system.

In recent months, higher hotel revenues were partially offset by increased operating expenses due to the higher demand levels and resumption of additional pre-pandemic services.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando. Source: Loews Hotels.

On January 1 Alex Tisch became the president and CEO of Loews Hotels — succeeding his cousin once removed Jon Tisch, who became executive chairman and remains co-chairman of the board. Alex, a fourth-generation family member, joined Loews Hotels in 2017 and was named its president in September 2020.

Loews Results


Indian Hotels Company Enjoyed Another Record Quarter

1 year ago

Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) plans to reach a portfolio of 300 hotels by 2025, it said on Tuesday when reporting its earnings.

“We are looking to open 18 hotels a year,” said CEO and managing director Puneet Chhatwal. He cited plans to grow through conversions and new construction across India and in West Asia and Europe. The company plans to invest about $60 million a year for the next few years specifically for hotel development.

India’s largest hotel operator — with brands such as Taj and Ginger — had its highest-ever net profit in the quarter that ended on December 31. The Tata Group-backed company reported consolidated net profit of $46.8 million (3.83 billion rupees) on revenue of about $206 million (16.86 billion rupees).

“We are very pleased to report our Q3 [third quarter] results with a record level on all key parameters, revenue, EBITDA, EBITDA margin, PAT, strong free cash flows and being net cash positive,” Chhatwal said.

The strong performance followed hard on a previous quarter that was also a company record thanks to a surge in post-pandemic travel. Hotel occupancy was up 27 percent on average from pre-crisis levels, while average room rates were up by 27 percent compared with 2019 levels.

“With the month of January gone by almost tonight, we see the momentum continuing,” Chhatwal said. “We have a fair idea and depth of the business on the books and the pick up the way it is coming. The outlook is very strong.”

For more context on CEO Puneet Chhatwal, read Taj Hotels CEO on the Sweeping Strategy Behind Delivering Best-Ever Financials.

Online Travel

On the Beach Founder to Step Down as CEO

1 year ago

On the Beach Group CEO Simon Cooper, who founded the UK-based beach holidays online travel agency in 2004, will resign his post within the next 12 months, and Chief Financial Officer Shaun Morton will take over the CEO duties, the company announced.

On the Beach Group founder and CEO Simon Cooper plans to step aside as CEO within the next 12 months. Source: On the Beach Group

The precise timing of the transition, according to the company, depends on recruitment of a new chief financial officer to assume Morton’s current duties. The board hired an external team to assist in that search.

On the Beach Group credits Morton with helping to guide the company through the Covid pandemic, playing a lead role in strategic investments in brand marketing and technology, and striving to win market share in luxury and long-haul trips, and making inroads in the Group’s business-to-business initiatives.

Cooper, who remains a major shareholder in the company, will take a board seat and stay actively involved in the business, On the Beach stated. Cooper increased his shareholding in August.

On the Beach Group didn’t cite a specific reason for Cooper’s relinquishing his CEO duties.

The announcement coincided with the company’s release of its fiscal 2022 preliminary results. The fiscal year ended September 30.

For the year, On the Beach Group, which is a publicly traded company in London, recorded profit before taxes of  £2.1 million ($2.6 million) in fiscal 2022 compared with a loss a year earlier of £18.4 million ($22.5 million).

“Notwithstanding the emergence of Omicron and the disrupted airline schedules this summer, revenue was up 3 percent versus fiscal year 2019,” the company’s announcement stated.

On the Beach stated it is uncertain how the “cost of living crisis” will sway consumer behavior, adding that the company is well-positioned entering fiscal year 2023.

Travel Technology

Yanolja Profit Rises as Travel Rebounds in Korea and Asia Pacific

1 year ago

Yanolja said this week it expected that a post-pandemic rebound in international travel will continue to boost its twin businesses of online travel sales via a superapp and software sales to hotels and other travel companies. The South Korea-based startup has made progress on both ambitions since 2011, when it received a $1.7 billion investment from the Softbank Vision Fund in a transaction that valued Yanolja at the time at approximately US$9 billion.

The privately held travel company in South Korea reported this week some of its financial results for the third quarter, saying it had experienced “high growth rates in all business areas.”

Yanolja recorded consolidated sales of approximately $147 million (192.2 billion Korean won) in the quarter, a 112 percent jump from the same period a year.

Unlike many travel startups, the company is profitable. Yanolja reported an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, of about $8.1 million (10.6 billion Korean won).

Roughly half of the company’s growth has been partly driven by its software business, which had a 32 percent year-over-year increase to $71 million in sales in the quarter. For more context on the travel software sales, see Skift’s story Decoding Yanolja Cloud and Its Hotel Software Strategy.

The mid-sized company said it has been staffing up for roles in product management, software engineering, and user experience design, and has cash on hand to make acquisitions.

Jongyoon Kim, CEO of Yanolja, will discuss the company’s overall strategy and business performance at Skift Global Forum East in Dubai on December 14. Kim joined Yanolja in 2015 as chief strategy officer and in 2021, was elevated to CEO. He has previously worked at McKinsey & Company, Google, and 3M. Many industry analysts wonder if Kim will be able to guide the ambitious tartup to a successful initial public offering someday, and if so, when.