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Spain's Melia Hotels returns to profits in H1 on tourism rebound

MADRID (Reuters) -A strong upturn in tourism worldwide, helped Spain's Melia Hotels return to profits in the first semester, the company said on Tuesday, as it forecast a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be confirmed during the third quarter of the year.

The Mallorca-based group's booked net profits of 3 million euros in the first six months of 2022 from 151.2 million euros losses a year earlier, it said, while revenue jumped 143.6% to 741.5 million euros.

Melia's revenues are almost back to pre-pandemic levels, only down 1.3% versus 2019 during the second quarter.

"The trends framing our results in the first half of the year are undoubtedly the very strong pull from tourism demand, described by some as revenge travel," Chief Executive Gabriel Escarrer said in a statement.

"Melia is prepared to take maximum advantage of the boom that is still going on and to face an eventual change in the economic cycle".

Bookings in resort hotels exceed 2019 levels for the third quarter and Melia expects to see an improvement in bookings for urban hotels later in the year thanks to the corporate events season.

In Spain, Melia said there is an increased demand for deluxe rooms and suites, allowing them to improve revenues over previous years.

(Reporting by Corina PonsEditing by Alistair Bell)