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hotel.de: booking volumes in 1st quarter of 2009 slightly down on previous year; further increase in number of bookings

Nuremberg, 6 April 2009* – hotel.de AG, one of the leading worldwide online hotel reservation services, could not entirely escape the negative developments in the global economy in terms of its booking volumes for the first quarter of 2009. Even though Germany still posted growth of 3.9%, the downturn of 15.4% in the international business led total booking volumes to decline slightly to Euro 96.9 million. This corresponds to a reduction of 5.0% compared with the previous year’s quarter (Euro 102.0 million). Commisionable net checkout volumes fell by 6.4% from Euro 72.5 million in the previous year to Euro 67.9 million as of 31.03.2009. Bookings in the new conference business segment showed very pleasing developments, with net checkout volume growth of 40% compared with the first quarter of 2008.

Alongside the poor overall economic situation and subdued levels of business travel at companies, overall hotel room prices also declined by around 7.5%, a factor which had a corresponding impact on booking volumes.

Increase in number of bookings via hotel.de

In terms of the number of bookings, by contrast, hotel.de reported slight growth in the first quarter of 2009. Overall, the number of bookings rose by 2.5% at the reporting date on 31.03.2009. hotel.de increased booking totals in Germany by 6.9%. “Widespread uncertainty among our business customers as to future economic developments has led them to cut back on travel. It is nevertheless positive to note that the need to cut costs is obliging many companies to rethink and to book an ever greater share of their travel online“, commented Dr. Heinz Raufer, CEO of hotel.de AG.

Italy and France post further growth

Disparate developments were seen in the company’s business activities in its international markets. The outlets in France and Italy in particular performed well, reporting further growth, while booking volumes in Spain fell short of expectations. This was notably due to subdued levels of consumer confidence on the Iberia peninsula.

Provided that the economic situation in Europe does not deteriorate significantly in the coming months, the management is confident that hotel.de will increasingly benefit from the trend towards companies using cost-saving online hotel reservation services and will once again outperform its sector in the current year.

* The booking figures quoted here correspond to the data query status on 31.03.2009. 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) and Italy (Rome). 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
Haubrok Investor Relations GmbH
Michael Kempkes
Kaistr. 16
D-40221 Düsseldorf
Germany
Phone: +49-(0)211-30126-0
Fax: +49-(0)211-30126-172
E-Mail: m.kempkes@haubrok.de www.haubrok.de

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