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Booking site Szallas.hu acquires Czech peer

Hungarian booking site Szallas.hu said on Monday it has acquired Czech peer Hotel.cz. The acquisition could boost Szallas.huʼs revenue by two-thirds, and raises the headcount at the company to 275, according to local media reports.

Szallas.huʼs revenue reached HUF 4.2 billion last year, while Hotel.czʼs turnover was HUF 2.8 bln. Both booking sitesʼ sales have been increasing by 20-25% each year.

Szallas.hu now offers booking services in six countries - Croatia, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Hungary - and almost half of its revenue comes from abroad.

PortfoLion, a venture capital company owned by OTP Group, acquired a stake in Szallas.hu in 2015 and set the goal of making the booking company the largest in Central Europe by 2021. Magyar Eximbank is also a stakeholder in Szallas.hu.

Szallas.hu said non-organic growth this year will be funded with a capital raise from PortfoLion, bank credit and share swaps.

"It is more advantageous and sustainable to carry out developments together as part of a larger group, to be able to offer a better service to travelers and our partners, and we see a good opportunity in boosting travel between countries in the region," commented Pavel Kotas, chairman of the board of Hotel.cz, cited in a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal. "The Czech Republic has the highest GDP per capita in the region, and demand for regional tourism is strong due to the small geographical size."