Today, Priceline.com, Inc. reported positive financial results for the 2nd quarter 2009. Gross travel bookings increased 12.8% year over year, reaching a total of $2.38 billion for the 2nd quarter. Gross travel bookings, referring to the total dollar value, includes all taxes and fees of all travel services purchased by consumers.
Priceline.comâ€™s 2nd quarter revenues totaled $603.7 million, a 17.5% increase from a year ago. The company’s international operations contributed $197.6 million in revenues in the 2nd quarter, showing a 20.1% increase (approximately 38% growth on a local currency basis). Priceline.com’s gross profit for the 2nd quarter was $305.2 million, up 20.3% from the previous year. The company’s international operations contributed gross profit in the 2nd quarter of $196.6 million, a 20.2% increase versus a year ago (approximately 38% growth on a local currency basis). The company’s operating income in 2nd quarter 2009 was $109.4 million, a 35.1% increase from the comparable period in 2008. Priceline.com had GAAP net income of $67.0 million, or $1.38 per diluted share, which compares to $49.8 million or $1.00 per diluted share during the same period of 2008.
Priceline.com President and CEO Jeffery H. Boyd stated, “Despite a difficult economic climate, leisure travel demand for the summer peak season has been stronger than expected, driven in part by the availability of compelling discounts. Priceline.com’s 2nd quarter performance reflects the impact of improving demand, but also shows the impact of lower year over year unit prices. Priceline.com continued to gain market share globally in the 2nd quarter as worldwide hotel room night reservations grew 44%, reflecting solid performance in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Airline ticket sales grew 14% despite fee reductions introduced by our competitors during this period to compete with our low price positioning, and growth in rental car days was steady at 15%. Internationally, our hotel business experienced gross travel bookings growth of 14%, or approximately 32% on a local currency basis.”
Looking towards the future, Mr. Boyd added, “Unemployment and the global economic downturn continue to affect travel spending, particularly high yield business travel, which places considerable strain on travel suppliers. Suppliers have responded with promotions and discounts to spur leisure demand and we have offered distribution and advertising support for those efforts, which we believe has helped bolster occupancy and load factors. Despite significant decreases in pricing, priceline.com performed well in the first two quarters of this year and we believe our brands and service offerings have resonated with leisure travelers looking for the best value for their trips. In the 3rd quarter, we intend to continue to invest in expansion of our international hotel platform, integration initiatives and marketing of our brands in an effort to offer consumers the best travel value and to offer suppliers value as a unique and efficient distribution channel.”