Hostel owner and operator Safestay has reported positive figures for its 2019 financial year, and says it is "well placed to grow substantially" this year.
The group recorded significant increases in revenues, occupancy and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the 12 months to 31 December 2019.
Highlights included 25% growth in total revenues to £18.3m against last year's £14.6m, with like-for-like revenues up 7%, as well as an 11% increase in adjusted EBITDA to £3.8m, up from £3.4m in 2018.
Safestay also achieved 77.3% occupancy over the period, up from 75.6%, and 43% growth in food and beverage revenues, which now represent 14% of total revenues. The group also added eight hostels to its portfolio. Europe now represents 49% of sales at Safestay, up from 43%.
Larry Lipman, chairman of Safestay, 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."
The group said financial performance and investment made in 2019 has created "real momentum" going into 2020 and, while still very early in the year, performance in the first month of 2020 and forward bookings for the first quarter of the year are "very encouraging, a positive signal for the coming year, which will also benefit from the acquisitions made last year".
Earlier this month, Safestay agreed a new five-year, £23m loan facility with HSBC. The group has five sites in the UK, two of which are freehold (Glasgow and York) and three leasehold (Edinburgh and two in London in Kensington Holland Park and Elephant and Castle).