Melia International Hotels is once again reporting a profitable start to the year. Although the prevalence of the Omicron variant during the first quarter of 2022 makes comparison difficult, the Group’s results for the period reflect the strong recovery in tourism that began in the second quarter of 2022, as well as highlighting the Group’s strategy to counteract the effects and threats of the environment.
As a result, revenues improved by 45.9% compared to the first quarter of the previous year, reaching EUR 396.1 million. This volume is slightly higher (+0.8%) than that recorded before the pandemic, in a positive year such as 2019, which has allowed Meliá to return to profit.
Along with the evolution of holiday hotels – both beach and urban leisure – the company reports an improvement in hotels belonging to the MICE and Corporate segments, which show an improvement in business already confirmed for 2023 of 68% over the previous year, and 28% over 2019, despite the fact that the levels of advance group bookings have not yet recovered.
Within its return to profit, Meliá highlights the improvement of the MICE segment in the Caribbean hotels (+100%), followed by the urban hotels in Spain (+67%) and in the EMEA area (+46%).
The Group’s Ebitda reached €78 million, more than double that of 2022, while net attributable profit was €500,000, compared to a loss of €59 million in the same period of the previous year.
On the financial side, the liquidity position (including cash and undrawn credit lines) amounted to EUR 360 million.
Digitalisation and growth
Meliá’s commitment to digitalisation has enabled it to continue consolidating its distribution capacities with its online channel, which has stabilised at a contribution of more than 45% of total centralised sales. Likewise, the improvement in sales with the main distribution partners through the B2B MeliaPro channel, which grew by 37.5%, in an environment that the Group welcomes, of full normalisation of the of normalisation of the intermediation segment.
In addition, digitisation allowed the Group to optimise rates and to enhance the value of its investments in improving its product and in brands and experiences, focusing on “Total Revenue” to maximise hotel revenues, with initiatives such as the luxury strategy and the commitment to experiences, deploying a new approach to Food and Beverage.
Looking ahead to the 2023 season, the largest price increase will be in luxury hotels, maintaining the high demand for superior rooms already verified in previous years, with an average daily rate increase of 12% compared to 2022, and +38% when compared to 2019, (data that also reflects the higher volume of luxury hotels and superior rooms in the portfolio).
Considering the global universe of hotels (owned, rented and managed) Maeliá maintained 12.9% more rooms available than in the same period of the previous year, (+6% compared to 2019), and between operational hotels and those in the process of opening, it now has more than 104,000 rooms. According to Expansion’s pipeline, by 2023 Meliá will open around 30 hotels in destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia in Asia, Spain, Albania, Malta and Italy in Europe, and Cuba, with an expected contribution of more than 8,000 new operational rooms.
Meliá’s commitment to digitalisation is not only aimed at increasing revenues, but also at boosting efficiency, both in terms of processes and the new operating model – 80% implemented. In this regard, the company has completed, among other milestones, the deployment of the digital procurement tool COUPA in Spain for owned and rented hotels, which provides greater efficiency to the purchasing processes of products and services, and is committed to collaboration with its suppliers, as is the case of energy, to mitigate as much as possible the increase in costs due to inflation, which continues to weigh down the excellent performance of the sector globally, and provide the Group with greater resilience.
Melia continues its commitment to bring digitalisation to the Back Office areas with the clear objective of seeking efficiency in its processes through various initiatives where technology is the lever that brings benefits to the tasks and functions carried out in the different areas of the Company.
Evolución y perspectivas
La compañía espera mantener durante el segundo trimestre la tendencia iniciada ya hace un año tras la pandemia. El comportamiento mostrado por la demanda, con un periodo vacacional de Semana Santa muy positivo, y la evolución de las reservas en libros respecto a las mismas fechas de 2019 (+36%) alimenta el prudente optimismo que la Compañía mantiene en los diversos destinos y mercados, a pesar de los retos existentes.