AdventureTravelNews

Priceline.com’s 2nd quarter report reflects 12.8% increase over a year ago

(Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Priceline’s recent financial report – the full investor release is available here. Due to the sheer volume of the site’s business, it’s worth the read and to consider the comments by the company’s President and CEO Jeffery H. Boyd)

August 10, 2009 – Priceline.com Incorporated (Nasdaq: PCLN) today reported its financial results for the 2nd quarter 2009. Gross travel bookings for the 2nd quarter, which refers to the total dollar value, inclusive of all taxes and fees, of all travel services purchased by consumers, were $2.38 billion, an increase of 12.8% over a year ago.

Priceline.com had revenues in the 2nd quarter of $603.7 million, a 17.5% increase over a year ago. The Company’s international operations contributed revenues in the 2nd quarter of $197.6 million, a 20.1% increase versus a year ago (approximately 38% growth on a local currency basis). Priceline.com’s gross profit for the 2nd quarter was $305.2 million, a 20.3% increase from the prior 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 prior year. Priceline.com had GAAP net income for the 2nd quarter of $67.0 million or $1.38 per diluted share, which compares to $49.8 million or $1.00 per diluted share in the same period a year ago.

Pro forma EBITDA for the 2nd quarter 2009 was $126.2 million, an increase of 24.6% over a year ago. Pro forma net income in the 2nd quarter was $99.0 million or $2.02 per diluted share, compared to $1.55 per share a year ago. First Call analyst consensus for the 2nd quarter 2009 was $1.75 per diluted share. The section below entitled “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” provides a definition and information about the use of pro forma financial measures in this press release and the attached financial and statistical supplement reconciles pro forma financial information with priceline.com’s financial results under GAAP.

“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,” said priceline.com President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffery H. Boyd. “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 forward, Mr. Boyd said, “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.”

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