News

A record year for ASMALLWORLD: 30% net sales and 61% EBITDA growth

17.03.2022

ASMALLWORLD AG / Key word(s): Annual Results

17-March-2022 / 06:00 CET/CEST
Release of an ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


A record year for ASMALLWORLD: 30% net sales and 61% EBITDA growth

Zurich, 17.03.2022 - ASMALLWORLD AG announced that 2021 was a record year, delivering the highest sales and highest EBITDA result in the company's history. Despite ongoing challenges from the global pandemic, ASMALLWORLD increased its net sales by 30% and EBITDA by 61%. Both business segments, Subscriptions and Services, contributed to the strong revenue growth, while cost control measures helped to improve profit margins. The company anticipates further revenue growth in 2022 due to improving market conditions and first contributions from the strategic collaboration with Global Hotel Alliance, of which the company acquired a 10% stake at the end of 2021.

Despite ongoing challenges in the market environment, ASMALLWORLD achieved a record year in terms of sales and profitability, due to a strong sales focus on pandemic-resilient products and services as well as strict cost control measures.

Company-wide sales increased by 30%, from CHF 12.0M to 15.6M, and EBITDA increased by 61%, from CHF 1.5 to 2.4M. The overall EBITDA margin increased by 3.0%-pts., from 12.4% to 15.4%. The member base grew by 2% from 62'000 to 63'300.

ASMALLWORLD also increased its operating cash flow by an impressive 584%, from CHF 0.6M to 4.2M, demonstrating that the company is committed to generating cash from its business.

The increased sales and improved profitability in the face of an ongoing challenging market environment reflect the resilience of the company's business model, building a solid foundation for continued growth in a post-pandemic world.

"I am very happy with our performance in 2021. Not only did we surpass the previous year in terms of sales and profits, but we also outperformed 2019. In short, we had the best year in our history, and this despite a difficult market environment. This demonstrates the commitment of our team and makes me confident that we will come out of this pandemic stronger than ever," commented ASMALLWORLD CEO Jan Luescher.

Subscriptions grew by 27.6% based on strong demand for the ASMALLWORLD Prestige membership

The Subscriptions segment increased its revenues by 27.6% to CHF 10.2M, compared to CHF 8.0M in the previous year. The EBITDA margin increased from 14.9% to 16.0% due to strong sales and strict cost management.

ASMALLWORLD's premium memberships, Prestige and Signature, which come with many travel benefits like air miles from Miles & More or Etihad as well as hotel status levels from Jumeirah and GHA DISCOVERY, experienced strong demand in 2021 and were the single most important sources of growth throughout the year. The strong partnership with Miles & More was expanded further to launch three sales periods during the year, up from two in 2020.

The ASMALLWORLD social network experienced slower demand from new customers due to ongoing travel restrictions, and social distancing restrictions which resulted in a lack of events. As a result, new signups remained significantly below pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, renewal rates were comparable to pre-pandemic levels, reflecting strong loyalty among existing members, even in difficult times.

First Class & More, the group's smart luxury travel business, experienced a similar dynamic as the ASMALLWORLD community, with slightly lower demand for its entry-level memberships but higher sales of its more expensive Diamant Membership, offered at EUR 999 per year. With clever marketing campaigns, the company managed to sell its premium memberships in combination with loyalty and status strategies, which gave members access to in-demand airline status levels.

The World's Finest Clubs, the world's leading nightlife concierge, experienced another challenging year as global nightlife came to a virtual standstill during the pandemic. The company continued to focus on the improvement of its CRM system and a full website redesign (which was launched in Q1 2022), to enable the company to offer customers a higher service level once nightlife activities resume in 2022.

The Services segment increased by 35.3%, outpacing the growth in Subscriptions

The Services segment grew by 35.3% from CHF 4.0M to 5.4M. Sales growth was driven by strong demand for First Class & More's Business and First-Class flight packages, as well as sales from the company's new hotel booking engine, the ASMALLWORLD Collection, which launched in July 2020.

EBITDA margins improved from 7.4% to 14.2%, driven by strong sales and the cost-saving impact from the restructuring of the company's travel setup (closure of our legal entity in the U.K. at the end of 2020), which increased the company's profitability without compromising the service quality.

ASMALLWORLD also continued to improve its online hotel booking engine, the ASMALLWORLD Collection. With a curated selection of the best hotels of the world, the service offers its customers extraordinary benefits like room upgrades or US$ 100 hotel credit for their hotel bookings at no extra cost. The ASMALLWORLD Collection launched its services in July 2020 with just under 600 hotels. Throughout 2021, more than 700 hotels were added to its high-end hotel portfolio. Concurrently, additional partnerships with strong international partners were formed, such as Marriott (January), Shangri-La (January), and the Doyle Collection (May). These new partnerships gave ASMALLWORLD access to more luxury hotels and contributed to the growth in hotel inventory.

Furthermore, a feature to earn loyalty points with the world's most popular loyalty programs was introduced in March. Customers who book hotel stays with the ASMALLWORLD Preferred Rate can now earn loyalty points from four of the world's leading loyalty programs: World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors and Shangri-La Golden Circle. Loyalty points will be earned in addition to the existing ASMALLWORLD Preferred Rate benefits and provide another strong incentive to book with the ASMALLWORLD Collection, as these loyalty points are usually only earned through direct bookings with the hotel programs.

ASMALLWORLD is committed to further improving its online hotel booking engine and believes that the hotel business can become a significant revenue contributor going forward.

ASMALLWORLD Private, the company's personalised luxury travel service, saw small increases in bookings but business was still below pre-pandemic levels. The business is expected to return to higher sales volumes once global travel restrictions are lifted.

The number of in-person events for the ASMALLWORLD social network increased by 25% from 316 events in 2020 to 394 in 2021. Attendance, however, declined slightly as events were usually held in smaller groups to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. ASMALLWORLD decided to reduce the number of online events after promoting them heavily throughout 2020, to focus on fewer but higher quality events. In 2021, 237 online events were hosted, compared to 376 in 2020. The company plans to continue with a hybrid online/in-person events schedule going forward.

ASMALLWORLD Hospitality, the company's hospitality consulting services, also contributed to the positive results for the year. The company supported the large-scale KETURAH Resort in Dubai and the first Ritz-Carlton Residences in the United Arab Emirates. The units went on sale in Q1 2022 and ASMALLWORLD will continue to manage the sales and marketing efforts going forward. The company will also support Croatian Land Holdings Plc with the development of MEDhills on the island of Brač.

The acquisition of a 10% stake in Global Hotel Alliance opens new possibilities for 2022 and beyond

In December 2021, ASMALLWORLD announced that its planned acquisition of a 10% stake in Global Hotel Alliance, the world's largest alliance of independent hotel brands with over 800 hotels. This strategic investment opens new revenue streams and is expected to significantly expand ASMALLWORLD's earning potential over the next few years. ASMALLWORLD will support GHA in the delivery of its recently re-launched loyalty programme GHA DISCOVERY, which will expand to more than 20 million members in 2022. The loyalty programme's highest-spending elite members will receive complimentary access to the ASMALLWORLD social network, which should double the size of the social network by the end of 2023. In addition, ASMALLWORLD will receive the right to recruit independent hotels to join the GHA hotel portfolio under a newly-created ASMALLWORLD soft brand.

The acquisition will be completed in Q2 2022 and the partnership will come into effect in summer 2022. The collaboration will drive sales in both of ASMALLWORLD's business segments.

Outlook for 2022 optimistic

For 2022, ASMALLWORLD is optimistic that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Unfortunately, sanctions are being lifted gradually and we have seen that some countries have re-introduced temporary measures, hinting at a slow path to a full recovery. The recent events in the Ukraine have also created some ripple effects on the customer sentiment globally. While ASMALLWORLD does not have strong exposure to these markets, there may be an indirect impact through higher prices for travel and more cautious spending by consumers. However, assuming that these effects are temporary, ASMALLWORLD expects the market environment to improve over the course of the year. The company anticipates sales of CHF 17-18M for the year (10-17% growth). EBITDA is expected to improve to CHF 2.6-2.8M (8-17% growth). At the same time, the number of members is expected to grow by 18-26% to 75'000-80'000 members by then end of 2022, driven by customers joining from Global Hotel Alliance, which should take place thought the second half of the year.

"The 2021 results have proven that we can successfully hold our own in a difficult environment. When the market environment turns around, demand for our products will increase again and we should be able to grow significantly. With the ASMALLWORLD Collection, we have a new business area that did not exist before the pandemic, while the partnership with Global Hotel Alliance will create additional opportunities for us to sell our products. In short, our revenue potential is now much broader than it was before the pandemic," commented ASMALLWORLD CEO Jan Luescher.

Earnings call and further information

ASMALLWORLD CEO Jan Luescher will hold a conference call later today, March 17, to provide additional details and commentary for the 2021 Full Year results. The call will take place at 3pm CET.

To participate in the call, please use confirmation code 596 16 06 and one of the following dial-in numbers:

Switzerland: +41 (0)44 580 7279

United Kingdom: +44 (0)330 165 4012

Germany: +49 (0)69 22222 5197

United States: +1 646-828-8073

The full 2021 Financial Report as well as the presentation for the 2021 Earnings Call are available for download on the ASMALLWORLD AG website at:

https://www.asmallworldag.com/financial-reports

This press release and further information can be found at www.asmallworldag.com.

Definition of EBITDA as alternative performance measure: Earnings before interest (including all financial income and expenses), taxes, depreciation, and amortization

 

The ASMALLWORLD Group

ASMALLWORLD is the world's leading travel & lifestyle community, focusing on experiences: the modern-day definition of luxury.

Centred around the ASMALLWORLD social network, the company operates a digital travel & lifestyle ecosystem which enables and inspires members to travel better, experience more and make new connections.

Members of the ASMALLWORLD social network connect through its app and website, where they can meet other members, engage in online discussions, receive travel and lifestyle inspiration, and enjoy a wealth of travel privileges.

Members also meet in person at over 1'000 global ASMALLWORLD events every year, ranging from casual get-togethers in major cities around the world, access to exclusive launches, shows, galas, soirees, exhibitions, major global sporting events, and larger flagship weekend experiences hosted in iconic destinations such as Saint-Tropez and Gstaad.

Other businesses of the ASMALLWORLD travel & lifestyle ecosystem include:

ASMALLWORLD Collection, a high-end online hotel booking engine focused on the world's most admired hotels, offering the unique "ASMALLWORLD Preferred Rate" which allows customer to enjoy exclusive travel benefits at no extra cost

ASMALLWORLD Private, a high-end travel agency offering personalised travel curation service

ASW Hospitality, a hotel management company that operates and manages the iconic North Island resort in the Seychelles

First Class & More, a subscription-based smart luxury travel service that allows members to enjoy luxury travel at insider prices

The World's Finest Clubs, the world's leading nightlife concierge offers its members VIP access to the most exclusive nightlife venues around the world

For more information, please visit:

www.asmallworldag.com

www.asw.com

www.asmallworldcollection.com

www.asmallworldprivate.com

www.first-class-and-more.de

www.first-class-and-more.com

www.finestclubs.com

www.asmallworldhospitality.com

www.north-island.com

 

Contact:

ASMALLWORLD AG
Jan V. Luescher, CEO
Seidengasse 20
8001 Zurich
Switzerland
info@asmallworldag.com


Additional features:


File: ASW Full Year Results_EN

End of ad hoc announcement

show this