STRONG TRADING YEAR TO DATE FOR STAYCITY GROUP ALTHOUGH HARD BREXIT REMAINS KEY CONCERNPublish date: Wed 11 Sep, 2019
10 SEPTEMBER 2019, DUBLIN: A strong start to trading in the first half of 2019 has pushed Dublin-based aparthotel operator Staycity Group’s like-for-like sales up 2.4% in the year to July 2019 on the back of an increase in occupancy and a rise in average daily rates (ADR).
The fast-expanding Staycity, which now operates nearly 3,000 apartments across 12 European cities, has seen occupancy grow by 2.2% in the first half of the year, to an average of 86.4% across the group, with UK properties seeing a 2.5% increase to 85.8%.
“Despite this year proving challenging for the hotel sector with increasing cost pressures this performance demonstrates the strength of demand for our product as we continue to expand across Europe,” commented Tom Walsh, Staycity co-founder and CEO.
“The challenges in the UK are well documented and although we are encouraged by the increase in occupancy for our UK-based properties, we are already witnessing a softening of demand for corporate travel,” he said.
“Over 65% of our revenues are currently generated in the UK and we believe a hard Brexit will impact GDP and consequently reduce demand for hotel accommodation, this along with a devaluation of sterling is likely to create significant headwinds which we must prepare for.
“Fortunately, we do not have a large food operation and our team turnover is significantly below the industry average, therefore a rise in input inflation and any immediate restriction on European migration will have less of an impact on Staycity than other businesses in the hospitality sector.”
In its full-year results for 2018 Staycity reported a 14% rise in turnover to €68.3m, boosted by a hike in average occupancy from 82% to 84% and a rise in ADR from €109 to €110.59. RevPAR [rooms revenue per available room] rose 4.2% year-on-year to €93.21 while group EBITDA rose 12% to €8.1m.
Despite concerns over Brexit, Staycity is anticipating an 18% rise in turnover to €81m for 2019, and an 11% boost in EBITDA to €9m.
Over the past few weeks Staycity has opened sites in Venice Mestre and Paris Marne-la-Vallée, with properties for its new premium brand, Wilde, in Berlin and Edinburgh coming on stream before year-end and a 224-apartment property due to open in Manchester’s Northern Quarter at the beginning of 2020. In what has been the company’s biggest recruitment drive to date, some 200 staff have been appointed to operate the new properties.
Further property signings have been announced in London, Dublin, Berlin and Frankfurt, amounting to 500 apartments in major UK cities and 850 apartments in Germany.
“We are on target to achieve our aim of operating 15,000 apartments by 2023 and I’m delighted with the recognition our two brands – Staycity Aparthotels and Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity – are receiving. I’m also extremely proud of our operations team who have this year delivered our best ever guest satisfaction scores,” added Walsh.
Staycity’s first property in Germany is set to open in November. The 48-apartment Wilde is situated at Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie, which was once the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point separating East and West Berlin. It is now one of Berlin’s most popular tourist attractions.
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Award-winning Staycity Group is a privately held company based in Dublin established in 2004 by CEO Tom Walsh and his brother Ger. The company has since become Europe’s leading independent aparthotel operator, offering quality short-term and long-term aparthotel lettings in 12 central city locations across Europe. The properties operate under the Staycity Aparthotels and Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity brands.
Staycity’s properties appeal to both business and leisure travellers who are looking for a more user-friendly, cost-effective alternative to hotels. The apartments are typically made up of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with 24-hour reception, kitchens or kitchenettes, a dining area, sitting area as well as complimentary Wi-Fi access, guest laundry facilities and weekly housekeeping. Most sites have car parking and many offer a fitness room, guest lounge and Staycafé selling breakfast, all-day snacks and drinks.
The company’s fast-expanding estate includes properties open in Birmingham (249 apartments), Dublin (227), Edinburgh (145), Liverpool (268), London (541), Lyon (143), Manchester (182), Marseille (108), Paris (50), Paris Marne-la-Vallée (284, plus 22 villas), Venice Mestre (175), and York (220).
Opening soon is a 48-apartment Wilde in Berlin, a 128-apartment Wilde in Edinburgh, and a 224-apartment Staycity in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
In 2018 Staycity won ‘Best Operator’ in the Serviced Apartment News Awards while in 2019 CEO and co-founder Tom Walsh was awarded the accolade ‘Industry Inspiration’ at the same awards as well as being shortlisted for ‘Best Property’ for Wilde on the Strand, and ‘Best Operator’.