- Hostelworld pulled its dividend and warned on profit, citing 'unprecedented challenges' presented by the Covid-19 outbreak.

'We now expect the overall earnings (EBITDA) reduction in the first quarter of 2020 to be about €5.0m,' as booking trends since early March 'continued to deteriorate as the outbreak expanded,' the company said. That was a wider reduction than previously estimated €3-to-€4m reduction in EBITDA.

The company said it would cancel the proposed final dividend of 2.1c per share amid the current focus on cash conservation.

As at 24 March 2020, the group's net cash position remained 'strong, with in excess of €20m of immediately available cash on hand, … and no debt obligations,' the company said.

Deferred revenue, reflecting customer deposits made under the free cancellation booking product, amounted to €2.5m at 24 March 2020. 'While the rate of cancellation under this booking option has increased due to changes in travel patterns in response to Covid-19 outbreak, we are working to minimise any negative cashflow impacts to the business, by offering credits in lieu of cash refunds,' it added.

At 10:00am: [LON:HSW] Hostelworld Group Plc share price was -0.7p at 59.2p

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