Meliá Hotels International’s results in 2022 are marked by resilience, recovery and confidence. Despite a first quarter strongly affected by the impact of the Omicron variant, the group recovered stages in the last three quarters, even managing to surpass in the second half the figures of a pre-pandemic year such as 2019.
Meliá earned 1,692 million in revenue last year, an increase of 87.5% over the previous year. The company improved its sales quarter on quarter, falling just 6.1% short of its 2019 figures. Operating profit (Ebitda) reached 430.8 million.
Moreover, the consolidated result improved by 160.7% to 120 million euros. From the hotel business point of view, the company achieved a RevPAR increase of 5.4% versus 2019, thanks to a 21% rise in the average rate, while the average occupancy remained still below, with a large increase in the average occupancy rate while average occupancy was still below, with ample room for recovery.
These results confirm the recovery of Meliá’s business, with tourism demand resilient in the face of inflation or fears of a change in the economic cycle. It was able to take advantage of the “favourable wind” thanks to a digitalisation strategy that led to an optimisation of revenues and an improvement in operating efficiency.
In 2022, the company continued to improve its direct channels, responsible for 43.3% of global centralised sales. Meanwhile, in an environment of positive recovery of the intermediation business (mainly agencies and Tour Operators), the B2B channel also improved its sales by 67% compared to the previous year and is now Meliá’s leading intermediation channel.
At the same time, advances in digital transformation allowed Meliá to optimise its revenues and improve its cost management. Efficiencies generated by the implementation of a new, more digital and efficient organisational model, as well as the digitalisation of internal management processes, or “digitalisation“, also helped of internal back-office processes.
The negotiation and signing of purchasing agreements with the main suppliers, such as energy suppliers, also helped to mitigate the sharp increase in costs experienced by the market. Overall, during the last nine months of the year, the company improved its EBITDA margin by more than 100 basis points, maintaining its commitment to improve by 300 basis points by the end of 2024.
On the financial front, the company maintained a solid performance, reducing its net financial debt by EUR 180 million. Along with operating cash generation and in order to reduce financial leverage, Meliá continues to work on asset sales.
2022 was an intense year for the company’s expansion, which signed the incorporation of 33 new hotels representing more than 8,200 new rooms. Of these, 16 are in Asia, 3 in Spain, 10 in the rest of Europe and 4 in the Americas. Meliá also opened 33 hotels with 7,610 rooms, surpassing the 100,000-room mark between operating hotels and those in the process of opening.
It was also a year of innovation, with the launch by the group of two new brands such as ZEL Hotels, in alliance with Rafael Nadal, which will open its first hotel in Mallorca this summer, and Falcons Resorts by Meliá, which has just opened an establishment in Punta Cana, linked to the Katmandu Park Punta Cana.
Katmandu Park Punta Cana, which is about to open.
At the same time, 2022 marked the consolidation of two of the group’s commitments: “The Meliá Collection“, a portfolio of unique and exclusive hotels that preserves its essence under the most demanding quality standards, (which already has 9 hotels in operation and two more in the process of opening), and “Affiliated by Meliá Collection“, a portfolio of unique and exclusive hotels that preserves its essence under the most demanding quality standards, (which already has 9 hotels in operation and two more in the process of opening) and “Affiliated by Meliá”, an affiliation formula that already has a portfolio of 80 hotels.
On the other hand, Meliá’s luxury strategy continues to bear fruit, with 65% of the current portfolio included in the premium and luxury categories. Likewise, 80% of the hotels that Meliá will open over the next three years belong to the group’s premium and luxury brands, which in 2022 recorded a growing demand and a higher average rate increase than the rest of the hotels.
In 2023, Meliá expects to open a minimum of 30 hotels in 14 countries in Europe, Asia, America, Africa and the Middle East. 92% of these hotels are included in MHI’s priority expansion regions, such as the 3 to be opened in Southeast Asia, the 4 new establishments in Africa and the Middle East, the 8 planned in the Caribbean and those to be opened in the Mediterranean basin and the EMEA region.
The Group’s expansion continues to prioritise low capital-intensive formulas, mainly Management Contracts and franchising, which account for more than 99% of the openings planned for 2023.
The Group remains cautiously optimistic about the current year. This is always supported by the bookings figures, which show a positive trend, with growth of more than 25% compared to those recorded at the same time in 2019. Not only for the first quarter, but also very positive for Easter and the summer, with an incipient return of early and medium-term bookings, as opposed to the “last minute” bookings that continue to be the majority.
The intensity of the recovery in international travel in some of its most important source markets such as the United States, Canada, Central and Northern Europe is having a very favourable impact on the performance of the Group’s hotels in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, already during the first quarter of the year.
As for Southeast Asia, the Group expects the recovery that began after the reactivation of issuers such as Korea, Japan and Australia to intensify once China returns to normality, starting in the second half of the year.