December Decline Fails To Erase Annual Profit Gains In Europe

Hotels in Europe suffered a 2.7-percent year-on-year decline in profit per room in December, yet still, annual GOPPAR rose 9.2 percent, marking a second consecutive year of large gains, according to the latest data tracking full-service hotels from HotStats.

December was only the second month in 2018 to record a YOY drop in GOPPAR, in what has been another year of strong profit performance following the 8.9-percent increase in 2017.

The month was especially hit by declines across non-rooms departments, including Food & Beverage (down 0.9 percent), Conference & Banqueting (down 3.7 percent) and Leisure (down 4.5 percent), on a per-available-room basis.

As a result of the movement in departmental revenues, TRevPAR growth was relatively muted at 0.3 percent to €144.49. This is, however, typical for the time of year, as demand from the corporate segment wanes toward year-end.

Profit & Loss Key Performance Indicators – Europe (in EUR)

  • December 2018 v. December 2017
  • RevPAR: +1.4% to €88.50
  • TRevPAR: +0.2% to €144.49
  • Payroll % Rev.: -0.2 pts to 38.5%
  • GOPPAR: -2.7% to €36.11

Payroll levels as a percentage of total revenue fell by 0.2 percentage points to 38.5 percent. However, this was countered by an increase in overheads as a percentage of total revenue, which grew by 0.2 percentage points to 25.9 percent.

Expectedly, profit conversion was a challenge in the month and was recorded at 25 percent of total revenue, well below the annual contribution of 36 percent.

“Despite the slow period of trading in December, hotel owners and operators across Europe will be delighted to record a second consecutive year of strong profit growth in the face of a challenging operating climate,” said Michael Grove, Director of Intelligence and Customer Solutions, EMEA, at HotStats.

The strong performance across Europe this year was led by Vienna, which recorded a YOY GOPPAR increase of 24.2 percent in 2018, including YOY growth of 27.5 percent in December, a product of a 25.5-percent increase in RevPAR to €191.35, which was fuelled by a 5.8-percentage-point increase in room occupancy and a 17.3-percent increase in achieved average room rate, which hit €217.28. This was a RevPAR high for the year, and almost €55 above the YTD figure.

Profits were further boosted by cost savings, which were led by a reduction in payroll as a percentage of total revenue, which fell by 2.9 percentage points to 30.8 percent.

Profit & Loss Key Performance Indicators – Vienna (in EUR)

  • December 2018 v. December 2017
  • RevPAR: +25.5% to €191.35
  • TRevPAR: +15.1% to €291.58
  • Payroll % Rev.: -2.9 pts. to 30.8%
  • GOPPAR: +27.5% to €106.74

In contrast to Vienna, Paris GOPPAR levels in December plunged by 60.9 percent YOY to €32.79, in part due to the disruption caused by the yellow vests movement, which forced the closure of businesses and tourist attractions in the city.

December was the only month in 2018 in which hotels in the French capital suffered a YOY decline in profit, with the prior 11 months of consecutive growth contributing to the 28-percent YOY increase in profit per room.

Profit levels fell as room occupancy dropped by 9.5 percentage points YOY to 54.5 percent, a low for the year.

The impact from the significant drop in demand was a decline across all revenue centres, which contributed to a 13.0-percent decrease in TRevPAR in December to €330.32.

Profit & Loss Key Performance Indicators – Paris (in EUR)

  • December 2018 v. December 2017
  • RevPAR: -17.3% to €189.04
  • TRevPAR: -13.0% to €330.32
  • Payroll % Rev.: +8.9 pts. to 54.6%
  • GOPPAR: -60.9% to €32.79

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