Online booking platform Hostelworld has reported lower revenues and operating profits for 2018 as it said it continued to operate in a highly competitive market.

Revenues for the 12 months to the end of December came to €82.1m, down 5% from revenues of €86.7m in 2017. The drop was mainly due to the impact of deferred revenue. 

Operating profits for the year fell to €6.7m from €11.9m.

The company has proposed a final dividend of 9 cent per share, resulting in a full year dividend of 13.8 cent per share, in line with its stated dividend policy. 

Hostelworld said its brand bookings grew by 4% during the year, with total group bookings growth flat.

The company appointed Gary Morrison as CEO in June, following the departure of Feargal Mooney. 

After his appointment, Mr Morrison undertook a detailed strategic review of the group which he completed in November. 

He said the review had identified and developed a 'Roadmap for Growth' programme to allow the company to capitalise on significant opportunities available and to return the business to growth. 

"We started work on a number of initiatives during the second half of 2018 and we look to 2019 as a year of investment to fund the growth drivers for 2020 and beyond," the CEO said. 

"We anticipate that organic growth will be self-funded from our existing cash resources and cash generated from the business," he added.

Mr Morrison also said that trading in the first quarter of 2019 is in line with the company expectations. 

"We remain committed to delivering value to shareholders and continue to assess our capital allocation approach in line with investment choices and priorities," he added.