Priceline profits up but forecast disappoints

Priceline profits up but forecast disappoints parent Priceline Group warned of two challenging quarters to come after beating earnings expectations in the second quarter of this year.

Following a trading update this week shares in the travel giant fell as it warned future quarterly result will fall short of analyst expectations.

Second-quarter gross travel bookings were valued at $20.8 billion, an increase of 16% year on year.

Gross profit for the three months to June 30 was $3 billion, a 21% increase on the same period last year

International operations contributed gross profit of $2.6 billion, a 24% increase on a year ago. Net income for the quarter was $720 million, a 24% increase.

Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter stood at $974 million, a 20% increase year on year.

Glenn Fogel, chief executive of Priceline, said: “The Priceline Group achieved strong results for the second quarter.

“Globally, our accommodation business booked 170 million room nights in the quarter, up 21% over the same period last year.”

Looking forward, Fogel said: “We are pleased with the performance of the business and will continue to build our franchise by adding properties to the platform and by investing in technology, customer experience and content expansion.”

The picture for the next two quarters is expected to be skewed by Priceline’s strong performance in the second half of last year making year-on-year comparisons unfavourable.

The number of nights booked grew 29.4% in the third-quarter of last year and 31% in the while revenues were up 18.9% and 17.4%.

Fogel said the continuing shift to online bookings in Asia presented big opportunities for Priceline.

“Asia is a great opportunity because a lot of people are becoming first-time travellers,” Fogel said.


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