ASMALLWORLD with another record year in terms of sales and EBITDA
ASMALLWORLD AG / Key word(s): Annual Results
ASMALLWORLD with another record year in terms of sales and EBITDA
Zurich, 16.03.2023 – ASMALLWORLD AG announces that 2022 was another record year, delivering the highest sales and EBITDA results in the company's history. The company grew its sales by 18% due to strong growth in the subscriptions segment. The continuous expansion of the company’s product portfolio as well as improved market conditions led to this positive outcome. The company also became fully self-funding and long-term growth initiatives like the ASMALLWORLD Collection, the company’s online hotel booking platform, and the acquisition of a 10% stake in Global Hotel Alliance started to contribute to the company’s growth.
With the world slowly recovering from the impacts of the global pandemic, ASMALLWORLD achieved another record year in terms of sales and EBITDA. Company-wide sales increased by 18%, from CHF 15.6M to 18.5M, with EBITDA improving from CHF 2.4M to 2.5M. The member base grew by 4%, from 63’300 to 66’000. Operating cash flow totalled CHF 2.3M.
In terms of business unit performance, most of the growth came from the Subscriptions segment which grew by 28%, while Services grew by 0.1%. The Subscriptions segment grew primarily thanks to an increase in demand for ASMALLWORLD memberships, especially the Prestige and Signature memberships.
ASMALLWORLD also became fully self-funding in 2022 and no additional capital will be needed to fund planned growth initiatives or to meet the company’s commitments in the future.
“I am certainly proud of our performance in 2022. Our long-term growth initiatives, including the ASMALLWORLD Collection and the partnership with Global Hotel Alliance, are starting to contribute positively to our bottom-line and we are finally self-funding for the first time in the company’s history. This is an important milestone for the management team and will allow us to make a few strategic investments to increase the long-term revenue capacity of the company and we are excited to see what we can achieve in 2023,” stated ASMALLWORLD CEO Jan Luescher.
Subscriptions grew by 28% based on strong demand for the ASMALLWORLD Prestige membership
The Subscriptions segment increased net sales by 28% to CHF 13.1M, compared to CHF 10.2M in the previous year. ASMALLWORLD’s premium memberships, Prestige and Signature, which come with many travel benefits like air miles from Miles & More, Etihad, or Emirates, as well as hotel status levels from Jumeirah and GHA DISCOVERY, experienced strong demand in 2022 and were the single most important sources of growth for the year. ASMALLWORLD partnered with Emirates to offer Emirates Skywards miles as the third miles option for its memberships. This new customer offering was launched in September and immediately contributed to this strong result.
The ASMALLWORLD social network continued to add members, and the company’s overall member base grew by 4% to 66’000 members, driven by an influx of new members. At the same time, renewal rates were comparable to pre-pandemic levels, reflecting strong loyalty among existing members, which is a positive sign for the long-term health of the network.
First Class & More, the group’s smart luxury travel business, experienced slightly lower demand for its entry-level Gold membership but saw solid demand for its more expensive Platinum and Diamant Membership.
The World’s Finest Clubs, the world’s leading nightlife concierge, experienced a significant drop in customers during the pandemic as global nightlife came to a virtual standstill. Marketing activities are slowly ramping up again, and a full website redesign and new membership levels were introduced this year to support the effort to bring sales back up to pre-pandemic levels.
The Services segment remains strong and is poised to be a long-term growth driver
The Services segment grew by 0.1% in 2022. Both the ASMALLWORLD Collection and ASMALLWORLD Hospitality saw an increase in sales, while First Class & More’s business and first-class flight package sales came in below 2021 numbers. The EBITDA margin for the segment improved slightly, from 14.2% to 14.4%, due to a change in the sales mix.
ASMALLWORLD continued to expand the inventory and benefits of its online hotel booking platform, the ASMALLWORLD Collection. When the service launched in July 2020, it was just shy of 600 hotels, but since then it has added over 900 additional hotels, bringing the total inventory to over 1’500 hotels. The Collection now covers more than 450 destinations worldwide, representing a nearly 200% increase in destinations since launch. Customers booking their hotels with the Collection benefit from extraordinary VIP benefits, like room upgrades and/or USD 100 hotel credit during their stay.
As a result of these improvements, bookings on the platform have grown by 150% in terms of booking value compared to 2021. Customer loyalty also proved to be high, with 41% of customers booking at least a second time with us, if not more.
ASMALLWORLD Hospitality, the company’s hospitality consulting service, also contributed to the segment’s growth. The management contract for North Island, a private island resort in the Seychelles, was renewed for another three years, affirming the good work done by the team in managing one of the most luxurious hotel properties in the world. Unfortunately, MAG of Life unexpectedly terminated the consulting contract for the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Dubai. ASMALLWORLD believes this is a wrongful termination of the contract and has pursued legal recourse for this action.
In terms of event activity, the number of in-person events for the ASMALLWORLD social network increased by 26% from 394 events in 2021 to 498 events in 2022. Event attendance increased proportionately. ASMALLWORLD’s flagship event, “The ASMALLWORLD Winter Weekend” in Gstaad, also returned after two years of absence. Online events, which were introduced during the pandemic, were purposefully reduced to allow the team to focus on in-person events again. In 2022, 156 online events were hosted, compared to 209 in 2021. The company plans to continue its hybrid online / in-person event schedule going forward but will prioritise in-person events.
Acquisition of 10% stake in Global Hotel Alliance complete
In December 2021, ASMALLWORLD announced that it would acquire a 10% stake in Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands with over 800 hotels. The final payment for this CHF 4.5M transaction was made in May 2022 and marked the completion of this acquisition. With more than 23M customers and a first-class hotel loyalty platform, GHA offers ASMALLWORLD an opportunity to expand its revenue streams in multiple ways. ASMALLWORLD has already welcomed its first new members coming from GHA, where ASMALLWORLD memberships are offered as a status level perk for GHA’s highest two status levels, expanding ASMALLWORLD’s community with travel-savvy customers. Further, ASMALLWORLD DISCOVERY, ASMALLWORLD’s newly created hotel soft brand, will allow independent hotels to join the GHA DISCOVERY loyalty platform for the first time. This new business as a service partner to independent hotels created another revenue stream, further diversifying and expanding ASMALLWORLD’s long-term earning potential.
Positive outlook for 2023
For 2023, ASMALLWORLD expects the market environment to remain friendly and sales to increase steadily to CHF 20 to 22M. EBITDA is expected to reach CHF 2.6 to 2.8M in the coming year.
“The 2022 results have shown the potential for our products in post-pandemic market environment. And with many initiatives showing their full effect for the first time, namely Emirates Skywards miles as part of the Prestige and Signature memberships, the ASMALLWORLD Collection hotel booking platform and the partnership with Global Hotel Alliance, we believe that we will continue our path of profitable growth into 2023,” commented ASMALLWORLD CEO Jan Luescher.
Earnings call and further information
ASMALLWORLD CEO Jan Luescher will hold a conference call later today, March 16th, to provide additional details and commentary for the 2022 results. The call will take place at 2pm CET.
To participate in the call, please register beforehand via the following link:
After registration, participants will receive a confirmation e-mail with individual dial-in data.
The full 2022 Financial Report as well as the presentation for the 2022 Earnings Call are available for download on the ASMALLWORLD AG website at:
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 that 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 in 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 VIP Rate,” which allows customers to enjoy exclusive travel benefits at no extra cost.
ASMALLWORLD Private, a high-end travel agency offering personalised travel curation services.
ASMALLWORLD Hospitality, a hospitality consulting and management consultancy, which supports owners and developers of hospitality assets throughout the different lifecycle stages of their assets, including acquisition, development, operations and exit.
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:
The statements contained in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements". Such can be identified, for example, by the use of the words "may," "will," "should," "plan," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "intend," "project," "target," "seek" or "aim," or the negative of these words or comparable expressions.
Forward-looking statements involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Issuer or its industry to be materially different from any future results, level of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
The issuer undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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