Budget hotel chain Travelodge has revealed a record first half, with underlying earnings up 48 per cent, thanks to booming demand for both business and leisure trips and its best ever night in London.
Travelodge reported its highest ever revenue night in London in July, as Brits flocked to Blur’s concert at Wembley and Bruce Springsteen at Hyde Park.
In fact, the capital topped the charts for the group’s most lucrative region over the half, amid a slew of blockbuster events including Harry Styles at Wembley and sporting championships such as Wimbledon and the Ashes.
This helped the firm – which has 598 hotels and over 46,000 rooms across the UK – reach total underlying earnings of £104.5m between January and June, up from £70.6m last year and well over double its 2019 figure of £44.7m.
Underlying revenues rose 22.4 per cent to a total of £478.7m.
The first half also delivered a record number of business account sign-ups and the Aylesbury-based firm noted the return of face-to-face business networking post-Covid as key.
Jo Boydell, Travelodge’s chief executive, said the record first half reflected strong demand a “diverse mix of leisure and business guests”.
Boydall added that the company had eyed up more than 300 sites for new hotels across the UK, “as well as opportunities to grow our operation in Spain”.
The group also nodded to the impact of Taylor Swift’s upcoming concerts saying its hotels in several major cities where Swift will be playing have sold out ahead of next summer.
Leisure customers use Travelodge’s cheap hotels to enjoy events such as the Six Nations rugby, the Grand National and Eurovision, while business guests, including construction workers and executives, seek out affordable accommodation for trade fairs and other corporate affairs.
This year’s string of major events had resulted in “a number of record-breaking trading days and weeks during the period,” Travelodge said.
Its record performance falls despite a number of external challenges, including train strikes and inflationary pressures.
Travelodge said industrial action on the rails had impacted sales, particularly during mid-week in Central London but that this had been offset by strong business demand including a rise in the number of trade fairs.
It added: “The current inflationary environment is resulting in increased costs across the industry and Travelodge is facing similar cost pressures.”