Hostelworld seeks finance expert for board
Online hostel booking business Hostelworld is seeking to add a financial expert to its board to chair its audit committee, chief executive Feargal Mooney has told the Sunday Independent.
Former Ryanair deputy chief executive Michael Cawley, a non-executive director at Hostelworld, is leaving his role as audit committee chair to chair the company itself.
The company, which earlier this week reported a 16pc revenue jump year-on-year in the first half, also announced it had appointed Carl Shepherd as a non-executive director. Shepherd is a co-founder of online holiday rental booking business Homeaway.
Mooney said growth in June and August had been a bit softer, citing terrorist attacks and ongoing currency fluctuation.
He said the performance in the first half had been flattered by a weak comparative period after the Paris and Brussels attacks of late 2015 and early 2016 respectively.
The company has also opened a technology development hub in Porto in northern Portugal. It also has staff in this area in Dublin and London. "Porto is a great location, there's a very vibrant and energetic technology culture developing within Porto," Mooney said.
"It's really just to give us additional bandwidth in terms of technology development. The majority of our development team are based in Dublin, we've got a small development team in London. But like most technology companies there's always more opportunity to add new features or functionalities."
Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) excluding exceptional items rose 37pc to €12.9m in the first half, and total bookings rose 11pc. Booking growth rose 18pc in Asia - an area of particular focus for the company.
Half of bookings were made on mobiles, a rise of seven percentage points year-on-year.
"We are impressed with the execution of management's KPI's (key performance indicators) ... the large negative reaction to terrorist attacks which plagued the group last year seems to have subsided as people adjust to the increased risk of travelling," said Merrion Capital senior equity analyst Darren McKinley in a note to investors earlier this week.
Sunday Indo Business