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hotel.de: Crisis-driven reduction in booking volumes in 2nd quarter of 2009, further rise in number of new corporate customers

Nuremberg, 6 July 2009* - In line with expectations, hotel.de AG, one of the world’s leading online hotel reservation services, witnessed a decline in booking volumes in the 2nd quarter of the 2009 financial year. This was due to many companies’ ongoing need to economise and the related lull in business travel activity in the wake of the negative development in the global economy. The number of bookings made via hotel.de, however, only fell by 5.9%, and thus less markedly than booking volumes. This development reflects the reduction in the average length of stay per booking on the one hand, as well as the sharp decline in hotel room prices, currently amounting to around 10%, on the other.

All in all, booking volumes amounted to Euro 88.7 million in the 2nd quarter of 2009 were thus 13.2% down on the record figure of Euro 102.2 million reported for the previous year. While booking volumes in Germany amounted to Euro 51.1 million, and thus fell only slightly short of the previous year’s figure (-5.2%), the crisis impacted more clearly on the international business, which reported booking volumes of Euro 37.6 million, equivalent to a 22.1% reduction. With a 28.0% increase in booking volumes to Euro 2.3 million, by contrast, the new conference segment contributed positively to overall booking volumes.

Rise in number of new customers confirms trend towards online reservations

hotel.de can report pleasing developments in the number of new corporate customer registrations, with more than 50,000 new registrations in the second quarter alone. However, these customers’ booking activities were only able to compensate in part for the decline in bookings from existing customers due to economic developments. "New customers continue to show great interest in using our corporate application, a factor which is due in part to the noticeable trend towards inexpensive online bookings", commented Dr. Heinz Raufer, CEO of hotel.de AG. "What’s more, our sales campaign targeted at acquiring smaller and medium-sized companies is also having a positive impact. We stand to benefit directly from the successful expansion in our customer base as soon as the economy regains momentum", added Raufer.

Measures to enhance sales and earnings already taking effect

Alongside the stepping up of the marketing and sales campaign, the further increase in the commission payable by hotels to 11.5% in 2010 should also contribute towards boosting sales. Over the past nine months, commissions have already been raised from 9.3% to a current average of 11.0%. hotel.de is thus still the best-priced online hotel intermediary in the market. A further key focus currently involves adjusting cost structures. By introducing targeted measures to optimise processes and by making increasing use of IT, the company is consistently reducing its personnel expenses and other related costs.
The company expects sales and earnings to have benefited from these measures in the second quarter already. The extensive half-year report is due for publication on 14 August 2009. * The booking figures quoted here correspond to the data query status on 01.07.2009. Booking figures may be reduced by retrospective cancellations.


hotel.de AG
hotel.de AG, with its international brand hotel.info, operates a free hotel reservation service for companies and private customers at www.hotel.de and www.hotel.info. The company offers more than 210,000 hotels worldwide for booking online. Customers benefit in this respect from considerable cost savings. hotel.de shows all available room rates for each hotel, thus always enabling customers to select the lowest or most appropriate rate. All bookings are forward simultaneously, securely and directly to the individual hotel. This is guaranteed by the unique integration of hotels’ own reservation systems (so-called CRS and PMS systems) and hotel.de’s own myRES reservation system under hotel.de’s standard user surface. hotel.de’s corporate application is already used by well-known companies, such as BASF, SAP AG, Texas Instruments and Ernst & Young AG. Since January 2007, hotel.de has extended its portfolio to include a conference enquiries and booking system. Business customers in particular stand to save time and money due to the optimised conference organisation processes facilitated by this conference tool.

hotel.info
hotel.info - the international brand of hotel.de AG - was created to promote the company’s expansion into international markets. To acquire new customers and hotels abroad, sales offices have already been opened in the UK (London), France (Paris), Spain (Barcelona), Italy (Rome) and China (Shanghai). The company’s high share of business customers with international operations facilitates its entry into new markets. The aim is to establish hotel.info as the leading online hotel reservation service for business and private customers in the foreign markets mentioned and then step by step across the whole of Europe.

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Investor Relations Contact:

hotel.de AG
Timo Vavrinec
Hugo-Junkers-Str. 15-17
90411 Nuremberg
Tel: +49 (0)911-59832-0
Fax: +49 (0)911-59832-11
E-mail: ir@hotel.de
www.hotel.de

Haubrok Investor Relations GmbH
Simone Gorny
Kaistraße 16
40211 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 (0)211-30126-130
Fax: +49 (0)211-30126-5130
E-mail: s.gorny@haubrok.de
www.haubrok.de
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