Apex Hotels optimistic after COVID losses

Company seeks to maximise travel bounce-back after ‘incredibly challenging time’

EDINBURGH-based Apex Hotels is optimistic it can maximise the anticipated post-pandemic travel bounce-back after posting losses of more than £16 million for a 12-month period dominated by COVID closures and restrictions.

The company, which operates ten hotels across the UK including four in Edinburgh, one in Glasgow and one in Dundee, reported pre-tax losses of £16.4m for the year to 30th April 2021, down from a £7m pre-tax profit for the year to April 2020.

Describing the impact of the pandemic on operations and cashflow as “significant”, the company said it used the time to invest in back-office infrastructure, guest-facing technology and staff training programmes, which it said leaves it “well-positioned to maximise the opportunities offered as the travel sector picks up”.

Apex Hotels chief executive Angela Vickers said: “This was an incredibly challenging period for the entire industry, with intermittent restrictions and closures imposed for almost three-quarters of the financial year.

“However, we used the time wisely by investing in initiatives that added long-term value, supporting future performance and a strong comeback, and capitalised on the appetite for staycations as restrictions on domestic travel eased.

“We rolled out new technologies, including new property and guest management systems to reduce the time spent processing data and allow our staff more time to serve the needs of our guests.

“We also brought in a new staff training programme, enhancing learning and development, as well as launching a big data project to provide us with valuable insights to drive further business improvements.

“With the reopening of the hospitality industry, and thanks to a successful vaccination programme roll-out, we are in an excellent position to grow revenue once again and we are confident in our ability to drive long-term, sustainable growth as we near the end of the pandemic.

“Our outlook for the year ahead is optimistic.”