CEO's comments in summary
We are pleased to say that occupancy and average revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased substantially in all countries over the summer as a result of good demand for domestic leisure travel. Above all, there was a clear improvement from last year's low levels in the capitals that was aided by the easing of restrictions on gatherings and restaurants. In total, our occupancy rate grew from 36 percent in June to just over 58 percent in July.
Occupancy levels have since remained above 50 percent throughout August and September at the same time as price levels have improved compared with the previous quarter. In connection with the holiday period nearing its end toward the middle of August, an increase in business travelers and meeting activity has compensated for the decline in leisure travel on weekdays.
Adjusted EBITDA amounted to 709 MSEK at the same time as positive cash flow contributed to reducing our net debt by more than 500 MSEK during the quarter. The company's results were impacted positively by 132 MSEK of state aid received and the repayment of 44 MSEK related to over-consolidation from an insurance company. In addition, just over 150 MSEK of the profit is estimated to be attributable to temporary effects from Scandic's quarantine-related operations in Norway. Even when adjusted for these items, underlying earnings were positive in all segments, with the highest profitability in our Norwegian operations. Earnings in Finland, however, were held back by continued restrictions.
There is a great pent-up need for meetings among our corporate customers after a long period of extensive restrictions and working from home. We've recently seen an increase in booking activity, not least for meetings, which has been driven by the fact that pandemic restrictions have been gradually eased and more people are now returning to normal working life at their workplaces. At the moment, our meetings business is approximately 70 percent of the level it was during the same period in 2019.
It feels great to be able to welcome so many employees to Scandic again as the hotel market has improved. We're continuing to scale up staffing while maintaining a focus on cost efficiency and a clear ambition to permanently strengthen our profitability level.
Demand has strengthened during the first weeks of October thanks to increased business travel. In light of the increased booking activity, Scandic has a positive view of market development for the coming months. We expect occupancy to be about 58 percent in October and at least 60 percent in November. We continue to estimate that positive cash flow can be reached at an occupancy level of around 50 percent.
President & CEO
This information is information that Scandic Hotels Group AB is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out below, at 07.30 CET on October 28, 2021.
For more information, please contact:
Henrik Vikström, Director Investor Relations, Scandic Hotels Group
Phone: +46 709 52 80 06
Report presentation October 28, 2021 at 09.00 CET
A presentation of the report will take place at 09.00 CET today, October 28. Scandic's President & CEO Jens Mathiesen will present the report together with CFO Jan Johansson in a webcast and telephone conference.
Details for participation by telephone: Sweden: +46 8 5055 8350, UK: +44 3333 0092 74
Please call in 5 minutes before the start. The presentation will be held in English.
You can view the webcast at www.scandichotelsgroup.com. The interim report and presentation
slides will also be available on the website.
Please join us to listen and ask questions.
About Scandic Hotels Group
Scandic is the largest hotel company in the Nordic countries with more than 280 hotels, in operation and under development, in more than 130 destinations. The company is the leader when it comes to integrating sustainability in all operations and its award-winning Design for All concept ensures that Scandic hotels are accessible to everyone. Well loved by guests and employees, the Scandic Friends loyalty program is the largest in the Nordic hotel industry and the company is one of the most attractive employers in the region. Scandic Hotels is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.