Booking Holdings prepares for a busy summer on European travel demand

Figurines are seen in front of the logo in this illustration taken February 27, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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May 4 (Reuters) – Online travel agency Booking Holdings Inc (BKNG.O) beat first-quarter profit estimates on Wednesday and said global travel trends pointed to a busy summer season, particularly in Europe , pushing its shares up around 7% in extended trade.

The Norwalk, Connecticut-based company’s gross travel bookings nearly doubled to $27.3 billion in the quarter from a year earlier, while overnight stays – a measure of occupancy of n any property – have more than doubled.

“Despite an uncertain macro environment, we have seen continued strengthening in global travel trends so far in the second quarter of 2022, and we are preparing for a busy summer season ahead,” Chief Executive Glenn Fogel said in a statement.

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However, Bernstein analyst Richard Clarke said that while summer demand was strong, increased marketing spending could be a drag as the company’s forecast for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were below consensus.

Pandemic-weary travelers are ignoring the blow inflation has taken to their wallets as air fares and hotel prices hike to visit their favorite tourist sites, driving demand for leisure travel around the world.

Vacation rental company Airbnb Inc (ABNB.O) forecast second-quarter revenue above estimates on Tuesday as it expects strong summer travel demand.

Major U.S. airlines, including American Airlines Group (AAL.O), United Airlines (UAL.O) and Alaska Air Group Inc (ALK.N), said their current-quarter revenue would top pre-Central levels. pandemic thanks to increased travel. Read more

Booking chief financial officer David Goulden said on a post-earnings call that April nights, a hotel industry metric for calculating occupancy, were up about 10% from the same period in 2019, mainly due to demand in Europe.

“International demand, driven primarily by travel plans in Europe, accounted for most of the improvements in overnight stays in April compared to the first quarter,” he added.

Excluding items, Booking’s earnings were $3.90 per share, versus analysts’ estimates of 90 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data. Revenue of $2.69 billion beat estimates of $2.54 billion.

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Reporting by Nilanjana Basu and Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Anil D’Silva

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