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Plummeting March Rates Impair Profits at Hotels in MENA

Profit per room at hotels in the Middle East & North Africa fell by 7.8 percent year-on-year in March, as falling achieved average room rate continued to impact overall hotel performance, according to the latest data tracking full-service hotels from HotStats.Despite hotels in the successfully recorded a 1.8-percentage-point increase in room occupancy, RevPAR in the region fell by 4.7 percent due to a 7-percent YOY decline in achieved average room rate.

The significant margin of RevPAR decline was further exacerbated by a 2.4-percent drop in non-rooms revenue, which fell to $94.08. The decline was in spite of a 6-percent YOY increase in Conference & Banqueting revenue, but due, in part, to a decrease in Food & Beverage (down 1.2 percent) and Leisure (down 3.6 percent) revenue, on a per-available-room basis.

As a result, TRevPAR fell by 3.7 percent in the month. March was the seventh consecutive month of TRevPAR decline in the region and the 15th month in the last two years that a YOY decline has been recorded in this measure.

The decrease in TRevPAR was further hit by increasing costs, which included a 0.9-percentage-point increase in payroll levels as a percentage of total revenue to 25.2 percent and a 2.3-percent increase in A&G on a per-available-room basis.

Profit & Loss Key Performance Indicators – Middle East & North Africa (in USD)

“The margin of decline in achieved average room rate at hotels in the Middle East & Africa in March was significant enough to have a marked impact on total revenue decline,” said Michael Grove, Director of Intelligence and Customer Solutions, EMEA, at HotStats. “Room rate at hotels in the region has now dropped by exactly $30 in the last three years, which is having a direct impact on profit.  And to the frustration of owners and operators, it is not showing any signs of abating.”

For hotels in Mauritius, March was an equally challenging month, with profit per room dropping by 37.3 percent YOY. This was a fifth consecutive month of decline in this measure for hotels on the island and contributed to the 24.8 percent YOY decline in GOPPAR for Q1 2019.

The decline was led by a 17.3-percent YOY decrease in RevPAR, which was hit by falling room occupancy (down 5.1 percentage points) and ARR (down 11.1 percent).  

This was accompanied by a 16.7-percent YOY decline in non-rooms revenues, or 39.1 percent of total revenue.

As a result of the movement in departmental revenues, TRevPAR at hotels in Mauritius fell by 17.1 percent YOY.

Profit levels at hotels in Mauritius have been put under increasing pressure in recent years due to the increasing cost of A&G, which this month jumped 20.7 percent, on a per-available-room basis.  

Profit & Loss Key Performance Indicators – Mauritius (in USD)
March 2019 v. March 2018
RevPAR: -17.3% to $165.18
TRevPAR: -17.1% to $271.07
Payroll %: +3.9 pts. to 28.7%
GOPPAR: -37.3% to $71.84

Meanwhile, hotels in Malta had a good month, recording a 10.6-percent YOY increase in profit per room. Still, it was not enough to overcome a tough Q1, which saw GOPPAR down 18.8 percent YOY in the first three months of the year.

The growth in March was driven by a 3.1-percentage-point increase in room occupancy, which helped offset the 4.3 percent decline in achieved average room rate, and helped drive a 1-percent increase in RevPAR.

Whilst payroll levels remained high at 41.1 percent of total revenue, this was a decrease of 1.2 percentage points on the same period in 2018 and contributed to properties in Malta recording a profit conversion of 20.4 percent for the month.

Profit & Loss Key Performance Indicators – Malta (in USD)
March 2019 v. March 2018
RevPAR: +1.0% to $83.87
TRevPAR: +4.2% to $139.93
Payroll %: -1.2 pts. to 41.1%
GOPPAR: +10.6% to $28.57
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Editor’s Notes:

The hotels profiled in this report are drawn from the HotStats database and reflect the portfolios and distribution of the hotel chains that we survey and which operate in the full-service sector.

Please note: The data samples are reviewed and rebased each year to reflect the changes in the HotStats survey base. As a result, performance ratios published last year may differ from those contained within this report.


Occupancy (%) - Is that proportion of the bedrooms available during the period which are occupied during the period.

Average Room Rate (ARR) - Is the total bedroom revenue for the period divided by the total bedrooms occupied during the period.

Room RevPAR (RevPAR) - Is the total bedroom revenue for the period divided by the total available rooms during the period.

Total RevPAR (TRevPAR) - Is the combined total of all revenues divided by the total available rooms during the period.

Payroll % - Is the payroll for all hotels in the sample as a percentage of total revenue.

GOPPAR - Is the Total Gross Operating Profit for the period divided by the total available rooms during the period.


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