Wirtualna Polska acquires Poland’s largest accommodation intermediary nocowanie.pl for PLN 22 million


The Wirtualna Polska Group entered into an agreement to acquire a 75% stake in nocowanie.pl – the national leader of accommodation intermediation market and at the same time one of the most frequently visited travel websites on the Internet (more than 2 million users in the peak of the tourist season; source: Megapanel PBI/Gemius). Thus the WP Group continues its e-commerce investments, consolidating its position in the travel segment. In December 2015 GWP acquired Enovatis, the largest and fastest growing online travel agent operating the wakacje.pl website.

- After the acquisition of wakacje.pl in December, we are supplementing our foreign travel offering with the domestic travel segment where the Polish leader is nocowanie.pl, a website partnering with tens of thousands of properties. Wirtualna Polska does not only strengthen its leading position on the travel e-commerce market, but also reduces the risk of short-term revenue volatility caused by turmoil in international travel. We are joined by experts in domestic tourism, who we will support in continuing growth, driven by the evolving habits of Polish consumers in the booking of accommodation services – said Jacek Świderski, President of the Management Board of Wirtualna Polska Holding.

Nocowanie.pl is the largest marketplace of places to stay on the Polish market, operating in accordance with the subscription model. This model has allowed it to earn significant and naturally stable revenues from the gradually increasing number of properties mentioned above. Nocowanie.pl has addressed a broad market of properties; among others, it reaches the owners of guest rooms, the largest category of accommodation facilities in Poland today, as well the owners of agrotourism properties, which is the fastest growing category of properties. It is also developing an offering in the ever more popular apartment segment. The website has experienced a growing user base, shown by the gradual rise of its reach (+16.8% growth between peaks of tourist season, July 2014/2015; source: Megapanel PBI/Gemius study). Over the year, the number of key user interactions with the properties on the nocowanie.pl website rose by 56%*.

- Nocowanie.pl is an attractive business with solid foundations. It is characterized not only by the fast-growing activity of its users, which increases its bargaining power in relations with clients, but also the subscription renewal ratio, which has been growing every year – says Grzegorz Czapski, the Vice-President on Development of Wirtualna Polska Holding. – This increasing client retention serves as a proof of the quality of services we are providing, which drives the double-digit growth rate of the company’s revenues.

The percentage of online sales on the Polish hotel market has been increasing dynamically. In 2014, the online penetration of the hotel market reached 27%, doubling over the period of four years. According to market forecasts, in the five subsequent years, this ratio should increase to roughly 44%*, i.e. to the level of current online penetration on the markets of the Western Europe, such as Germany or the United Kingdom.

- By cooperating with the Wirtualna Polska Group, we will be able to reach a much broader audience and offer an even higher level of service. It is also important that we have the opportunity to cooperate with GWP’s other e-commerce websites; this will allow us to exchange know-how and expand the offering by new products developed together – said Kamil Ruciński, President of the Management Board of Nocowanie.pl.

Following the closing of the transaction, the WP Group portfolio now contains two complementary travel e-commerce segments: nocowanie.pl and wakacje.pl. It is important that they address different needs of the consumers: those seeking accommodation in Poland and those going on foreign trips. Integration of these segments under the WP Group umbrella will allow the company to reach a broader group of travel market clients, also creating a significant potential for synergies in sales of new products.

- We can see many potential benefits arising from the fact that our acquisition of wakacje.pl is now complemented by nocowanie.pl. Both brands are leaders in their respective market segments in Poland and both continue to improve their position. As the society becomes more affluent, the frequency of holiday trips increases. Polish people increasingly select one international trip, supplemented by a few domestic trips and short, active city-breaks. The complementary nature of these websites allows us to address this trend – summarized Grzegorz Czapski.

Over the last 12 months ended in April 2016, Nocowanie.pl Sp. z o.o. earned revenues of PLN 8 million and EBITDA of PLN 3.3 million.

  • source: internal data of nocowanie.pl, Apr 2015 - Apr 2016 * source: Euromonitor, Deloitte ** source: Euromonitor, Deloitte

Nocowanie.pl publishes over 50 thousand offers of accommodation in Poland and in selected international locations. The website provides property owners with tools to manage their accommodation facilities and online bookings and publishes photographs of the properties furnished by the owners. Website users have been actively using the property evaluation system, which is one of the elements of the “verified property” program, which helps to select a location offering high quality of service. The acquisition of nocowanie.pl is another acquisition completed by the Wirtualna Polska Group in the travel services segment. It is also the ninth transaction concluded by the company since its IPO in May 2015. In March 2016, the WP Group acquired TotalMoney.pl, strengthening its financial e-commerce segment. In December 2015 it expanded its portfolio by Enovatis (wakacje.pl), the largest online travel agent in Poland. In October 2015 it acquired Allani operating in the e-commerce fashion & beauty segment, in September Finansowysupermarket.pl Sp. z o.o. and Web Broker Sp. z o.o., improving significantly the position of money.pl on the financial e-commerce market. In June 2015, it acquired the Next Web Media Group running the ABCzdrowie.pl (ABChealth) and parenting.pl websites; with this deal, the WP Group achieved the leading position on those profitable advertising markets. In May of the previous year, the company acquired the largest online radio platforms in Poland, OpenFM and PolskaStacja.pl.

Contact for the media:
Maria Skoczkowska, maria.skoczkowska@grupawp.pl, mobile: 502 707 232
Katarzyna Halicka, katarzyna.halicka@grupawp.pl, mobile: 502 707 138