These numbers are strong, yet largely without the impact of a reopened Asia. Expect a significant bump for Melia and its peers throughout the rest of 2023.
Spanish chain Melia Hotels International on Thursday reported a 46% jump in revenue for the first quarter, slightly topping pre-pandemic levels, and forecast better sales for the summer as resort bookings were 30% higher than in 2019.
Total revenue in the quarter stood at 396 million euros ($436 million), up from 271 million a year earlier, when the tourism sector was still affected by COVID-19 restrictions, and about 1% higher than before the pandemic.
The Mallorca-based group’s net attributable loss dwindled to around 500,000 euros from 59.3 million euros in the same period last year. Melia ended last year with a profit after two years of pandemic-induced losses.
Melia said it expected to continue to increase its room rates in the summer after hiking them by double digits in key markets during the Easter week. In the luxury segment, rates have risen 12% so far this year.
CEO Gabriel Escarrer likened pent-up demand to a “champagne bottle,” expecting the effect to become “palpable” in the second quarter among tourists from China, Japan and Australia mainly staying at Melia’s hotels in Southeast Asia.
This showed “a growing priority of travel in lifestyle and consumption habits in major markets, defying even inflationary pressures, rising interest rates, turbulence in markets such as energy and the threat of a slowdown in some markets,” he added.
First-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 243% year-on-year to 78 million euros.
Sales for corporate events at urban hotels in Spain increased 67% from last year and doubled in the Caribbean, the company said, adding it expected better event sales in France and Italy during the second quarter.
($1 = 0.9084 euros) (Reporting by David Latona and Corina Pons; Editing by Andrei Khalip, Kirsten Donovan)
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