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The Hesperia hotel chain lost 48.3 million in 2020 after the collapse of its activity due to the pandemic

Facade of the Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower Hotel. HESPERIA (HESPERIA)

The Hesperia hotel group it lost 48.3 million euros in 2020, as recorded in the annual accounts presented by the company in the Mercantile Registry. A disastrous year for the firm – the previous year had recorded a profit of 15.5 million – something that was to be expected due to the blow of the pandemic. Home confinement first and mobility restrictions later curtailed its activity to the point that its turnover fell by 78%: from the almost 137 million euros billed in 2019 to just 30.2 million last year .

“The impact suffered by the forced closure of establishments means that these annual accounts present levels of sales and losses not comparable with no previous year ”, admits the management report presented in the annual accounts. Grupo Inversor Hesperia, SA is the parent company of a group that owns and lessees various hotel and restaurant assets. Specifically, it has 22 urban hotels and five resorts, of which 16 are owned.

The coronavirus has been a blow very strong for the economy as a whole, but if there are some sectors that have suffered more, among them is tourism. Hence, it has not been possible to compensate for the collapse of the activity with cuts and cost savings. Hesperia, for example, has adopted a series of measures to mitigate the adverse effects of the crisis: “Review and general containment of the group's operating expenses, suspension of supply and service contracts until the reopening of the hotel centers, renegotiation of contracts with suppliers in terms of payment schedules, presentation of ERTE for practically all employees, when the facilities have been closed and partial and total ERTE on some employees when the facilities have been open, review of the different covid aid programs of the official organisms and request of the same, in case of fulfillment of the corresponding requirements, request of tax deductions and fiscal deferrals established by the Public Administrations and obtaining of financing within the ICO program ”. Despite this, the company has not been able to escape the red numbers, although it does draw a more promising outlook for the future: “It will allow obtaining results and positive cash flows in the coming years,” adds the report of management.

It should be recalled that the firm also requested state aid from the fund to support the solvency of strategic companies that manages the State Society of Industrial Participations (SEPI). Specifically, Hesperia asked for 55 million euros although the loan has not yet been granted, since access to this public injection requires a very cumbersome preliminary study process. “The group's management is immersed in the framework of different short and long-term financial operations of additional financing that allow mitigating the impact of the business decline on the group's figures,” explains the company.

Auditor's qualifications

In this context, Hesperia continues to set its sights on containing costs given the uncertainty that still remains about demand. “The intention of the group is to continue looking for intensive savings, the repositioning of its assets with its own brand or with third-party brands. The forecast for 2021 is for the group's business model to be agile enough to allow hotel opening plans adapted to the demand at all times, with temporary closings on days of low activity. All this in order to successfully adapt the company to new market trends ”, the company states in its accounts. That is, they foresee another complicated year.

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On the other hand, as already happened in exercises Previously, the audit report reflects discrepancies in its qualified conclusion. “The consolidated non-financial information statement does not include information on social and personnel matters and on subcontracting and suppliers of the La Manga Club company,” remarks the independent verification report of the auditor, the EY consulting firm. As explained below, this represents the omission of 30% of the template. In addition, the information regarding purchases by La Manga Club is not included for the same reason. “Grupo Inversor Hesperia, SA aims to integrate this company into its centralized management tools in 2021,” the report states.

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