(Reuters) -Booking Holdings posted quarterly profit and revenue above market expectations on Wednesday and said it is seeing an uptick in bookings, driven primarily by a recovery in cross-border travel within the European region and North America.
Pent-up demand and easing COVID curbs have in recent months sparked a surge in flight and hotel room reservations despite a temporary setback from the winter surge of the Omicron variant.
“We are still in a potentially volatile environment with high COVID infection rates in some part of the world and geopolitical uncertainty that could impact our business, especially in Europe,” said David Goulden, chief financial officer of Booking Holdings.
Online travel agency Bookings said it continues to grow its alternative accommodation supply with people still working remotely and workplaces moving to a more hybrid environment.
“The segment is a new one, which is called many different names such as ‘bleisure’ – business and leisure. We’re going to see a lot more of it in the future,” Glenn Fogel, chief executive officer of Booking, told Reuters.
Gross travel bookings soared 160% to $19 billion from the prior quarter. Gross bookings for the summer are higher than 2019 levels, led by strong bookings in Western Europe, the company said.
Excluding items, profit came in at $15.83 per share, compared with analysts’ estimates of $13.64, according to Refinitiv data. Revenue of $2.98 billion also beat estimates of 13.64 billion.
Net income was $618 million, or $14.94 per share, in the three months to Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $165 million, or $4.02 per share, a year earlier.
Shares of the Norwalk, Connecticut-based company were down 4.3% to $2,363 after the bell, amid a weaker broader market as Ukraine declared a state of emergency and the U.S. State Department said a Russian invasion of Ukraine remains potentially imminent.
(Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Subhranshu Sahu)