The travel business of the Hotelplan Group suffered in the year under review from the effects of the financial and economic crisis. Many bookings were lost or made late – and then at very low tariffs.

Net revenue of the Hotelplan Group fell in 2009 by 16.1 per cent or CHF 310 million to CHF 1.618 billion (previous year CHF 1.928 billion). Most affected were the foreign companies Hotelplan Italy and Inghams in the UK.

In Switzerland, substantial price reductions helped to slow down the decline in bookings. Despite the measures introduced, earnings before finance income, income tax and pension plan effect (EBIT) fell to CHF 26.6 million (previous year: CHF 14 million).

in Mio. CHF 2009 2008
Change in %
Net revenue from sales of goods and services 1'618.0 1'927.6 -16.1 %
Other operating income 13.1 13.8 -5.1 %
Total income 1'631.1 1'941.4 -16.0 %
Total net revenue from sales of goods and services -26.6 14.0  
Segment assets 109.3 141.8  
Investments 12.4 15.2  
Employees 2'665 2'888  

1 Changed due to the new IAS 38 rule relating to the timing of recognition of catalogue costs.

But also positive developments

Holiday apartment and holiday home rentals saw positive developments. Interhome concluded further partnership agreements aimed at further developing this attractive market segment. A cooperation agreement was also concluded with Schweiz Tourismus in 2009. As a result, Switzerland is able to position itself better as a holiday destination both at home and abroad. Interhome also cooperates with Easyjet, Europe's fourth largest airline. This allows the comprehensive range of holiday homes and apartments to be opened up to Easyjet customers.

New Vacando Internet platform

The Interhome subsidiary Vacando rolled out a simple Internet platform in 2009 which enables property owners to market and rent out their holiday homes and apartments themselves using the platform's fully automated features.

Core business expanded

The Hotelplan Group stepped up its focus on core business. In the year under review, the sale of the remaining stake in Belair Airlines to Air Berlin was completed. The Hotelplan Group is to expand its holdings in its core business in 2010. At the beginning of 2010, M-Travel Switzerland acquired a minority stake in the renowned Group Worldspan AG active in the event, incoming and incentive sector, as well as a majority stake in the successful company, bta first travel ag. Alongside its core business travel management activities, bta is also active in holiday and group travel offers, incentives, congress travel and event management. bta first travel ag is represented in Switzerland with 10 branches and 80 staff.

Climate protection expanded

Commitment to people and the environment was further strengthened. In the field of climate protection, collaboration with the myclimate Foundation was expanded and customers were sensitised to climate protection issues as well as encouraged to offset their flight emissions even more. In order to strengthen its commitment to sustainable tourism even further, M-Travel Switzerland 2009 joined the initiative for global standards in sustainable travel, Travellife.

A further matter of importance to M-Travel Switzerland is child protection. Since 2009, the Migros travel provider has adopted the code of conduct set down by the child protection organisation, Ecpat. In 2009, M-Travel Switzerland removed two hotels in Thailand from its catalogue after they breached this code.

Outlook: Further cost reductions

The turn of events in the travel markets in 2009 necessitated a quick response. Management implemented an austerity programme in all companies, including the outsourcing of Interhome's call centre. Given the dramatic change in the market, all growth initiatives were put on ice and the focus was redirected at stabilising income. A rapid recovery of the market in 2010 is not expected. Efficiency-enhancing and cost-reduction measures continue to have foremost priority. Stronger growth is only conceivable in the medium-term. The Swiss market will continue to play a key role here.