They're baaack. One consequence of the Amadeus IPO is that the technology and GDS vendor is back reporting quarterly financial results on a regular basis.
There were some interesting tidbits within the first quarter results released today.
There wasn't a lot of detail provided, but Amadeus' Opodo online travel agency unit saw its revenue increase 8% in the first quarter of 2010 to Euro 26.7 million.
That revenue growth trails the percentage increases recorded in the same period by Expedia Inc. (13% to $717.9 million) and Priceline (26.5% to $584.4 million).
Among other publicly traded OTAs, Orbitz Worldwide saw its revenue drop 1% in the first quarter to $187.2 million because it eliminated air- and reduced hotel-booking fees a year ago.
However, even Orbitz posted higher revenue growth for the quarter than Opodo if you eliminate Orbitz's U.S. domestic revenue.
Orbitz's international revenue during the first three months of 2010 climbed 38% to $43.2 million (or 19% on a constant currency basis.)
Of course, these are probably apples to grapefruits comparisons among the disparate companies, but perhaps it identifies a trend.
So, what's up with Opodo? Why isn't it growing like Priceline and Expedia?
Much of Priceline's and Expedia's growth comes in their respective hotel businesses.
However, like Orbitz until recently, Opodo doesn't seem to have found a hotel focus.
I've listened to tons of quarterly-financial results conference calls over the last couple of years where one of the major themes always seems to be how companies are doing in trying to tap into the hotel business in growth areas such as Europe and Asia-Pacific.
I don't think I've ever heard Opodo -- which bills itself as the "first truly Pan-European travel service" -- mentioned in this context.
Carroll Rheem, research director at PhoCusWright, says historically Opodo hasn't focused on hotels, and hasn't seemingly figured out a strategy to go after the "super-fragemented" hotel market in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Even Travelocity has revamped its allhotels website to go after the small-chain and independent hotel market, but Opodo has been making little noise on the issue.
Looking at other areas beyond Opodo, Amadeus says it signed new, long-term "full-content agreements" with Air France-KLM, WestJet, Iberia and Austrian Airlines in the first quarter.
Amadeus says all of these agreements, as well as pacts signed in 2009, contain ancillary services -- bag fees, premium seats -- provisions.
This is a key issue as far as "full content" goes because many airlines are offering ancillary services in their own channels and are not making them available to travel agencies through GDSs like the Amadeus system.
Amadeus didn't provide any details on these ancillary services provisions, but I am reaching out to the company to get a better understanding of how they are handling the controversial issue.
Meanwhile, Amadeus' airline IT business seems to have notched a healthy quarter with revenue increasing 17.9% to Euro 146.8 million.
During the first quarter, Amadeus migrated TAP Portugal, Aegean Airlines and Mauritania Airways to one or more Altéa Customer Management System modules.
In addition, three existing Altéa customers -- including Spanair and Grupo SATA -- transitioned to the Departure Control System module.
These six migrations meant more than 15 million additional boarded passengers for Amadeus.