Spain’s Melia Hotels (BME:MEL) International returned to profit in 2022 after two years of losses, it said on Monday, thanks to the rebound in tourism following the end of COVID-19 restrictions and higher room prices.
The Mallorca-based group reported a net profit of 120.1 million euros ($127.40 million) compared with a net loss of 192.9 million euros a year ago. This figure is still 1.3% below pre-pandemic levels of 2019, but far exceeds analysts’ estimates of a net profit of €58 million, according to Refinitiv.
Meliá recorded revenues of 1.600 billion euros last year, in line with analysts’ expectations of 1.630 billion euros and only 6% behind its pre-pandemic levels, as international tourism took off strongly in the second half of 2022, leaving behind the latest restrictions due to the omnin variant of the coronavirus.
The company anticipated inflationary pressures by increasing room rates early last year as it took advantage of high travel demand suppressed after two years of lockdowns and was also boosted by the return of face-to-face meetings and business events.
The hotel group said it had increased rates by an average of 26% in 2022 compared to the previous year.
Its CEO, Gabriel Escarrer, was “optimistic” for 2023.
The company expects global bookings to exceed pre-pandemic levels of 2019 by double digits in the first quarter, Easter and this year’s summer season, Escarrer said in a statement.
While international travelers from the United States, Canada and Central and Northern Europe have returned to their hotels in Mexico, the Caribbean and the Canary Islands during the first quarter of 2023, Meliá forecasts a strong rebound in tourism from countries such as South Korea, Japan, Australia and China for the second half of the year.
The company said it plans to open at least 30 new hotels this year and values its own and joint venture assets at 4.600 billion euros ($4.880 billion).
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