Group attributes revenue gains to travel's "substantial recovery" Group attributes revenue gains to travel’s “substantial recovery”

Posted on Group increased net revenue in the third quarter by 99% year over year, the company said.

The China-based online travel agency reported net revenue of $1.9 billion, attributing the increase to “substantial recovery of the travel market.”

James Liang, executive chairman, said, ”Throughout the third quarter of 2023, both domestic and international travel experienced a remarkable rebound, thanks to the robust summer travel demands. This shows just how eager travelers are to explore the world. Looking ahead, we will continue our efforts in expanding our global presence and cultivating [artificial intelligence]-related initiatives, laying the foundation for continued growth of our company.”

During an earnings call, Liang added that outbound business is “rapidly recovering” and the company anticipates “a continuously strong demand for outbound travel in the coming year.”

The company said while the Chinese outbound market has recovered to about 50% of pre-pandemic levels, Group’s outbound recovery is at about 80%.

Accommodation reservation revenue for the third quarter was $766 million, up 92% year over year and up 30% on the second quarter of 2023. Revenue from transportation ticketing was $736 million, up 105% year over year.

Packaged-tour revenue was $182 million, an increase of 243% year over year, while corporate travel revenue increased 60% to $81 million versus Q3, 2022. Group also reported product development expenses in the quarter up 44% to $490 million, attributing the increase to personnel-related expenses.

Sales and marketing expenses were up 93% to $378 million year over year, related to promotional activities.

Jane Sun, chief executive of Group, said, ”We are pleased to build upon the momentum and deliver solid results in the third quarter. To leverage the strong demand for travel and our investment in technology and product, we are committed to enhancing our supply chain capabilities and strengthening brand awareness to solidify our market position.”

She also provided an update on the company’s AI initiatives, saying its travel assistant TripGenie has had “double order conversion rate improvements.” 

The AI assistant is one of four areas where Group is utilizing AI, including improving efficiency across the engineering team through copilot and improving content efficiency.

Net income for the third quarter of 2023 was $637 million, up from $34 million year over year, while adjusted EBITDA was $634 million, up from $198 million in the same quarter last year.

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