Sabre has reported revenue up 4.8% to $923.9 million and net income up almost 3% to $84.4 million in Q4 earnings.
The company’s chief executive Sean Menke attributed the “strong financial performance” for the quarter and the year to the strategy it laid out at the beginning of 2018.
Operating income was down 10% for the quarter to $121 million compared to the same quarter in 2017.
The decline was put down to a growth in incentive expenses within the Travel Network as well as higher amortization and depreciation costs.
Results for the full-year 2018 saw a revenue increase 7.5% to $3.867 billion while net income was up 39.2% to $337.5 million.
Within its Travel Network business, revenue increased 7.5% to $665.2 million for the quarter, which Sabre attributes to global bookings growth especially in North America and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as an increase in the average booking fee.
The Airline Solutions business saw a 1.7% decline in revenue of $201.9 million. Sabre attributes the decline to both a dip in passengers boarded and the impact of the ASC 606 accounting standard in the U.S.
Commenting on the Farelogix acquisition during an earnings call, Menke says it is expected to close halfway through the year with a further request for information from the Department of Justice.
Menke describes the acquisition as the company "putting its money where its mouth is" in terms of evolution.
He also talked of Sabre's responsibility of working with suppliers and agents and hinted at a "more balanced conversation that is not incentive-led but going to be technology-led as well" going forward.
Menke also touched on the company's healthy contract renewal position for airline solutions with 94% of total contract value already renewed.
Menke adds that while some rivals might have a "heavier renewals" period hanging over them, Sabre has 75% of total Airline Solutions revenue to 2023 already under contract
Revenue for Hospitality Solutions increased 3.8% to $66.7 million with good revenue growth coming from the SynXis reservations system.
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Growth rates for the hospitality division in 2019 may be affected with two of Sabre's larger customers being acquired. Menke says:
"The attrition rate in 2019 is double what we have historically seen."
Commenting on the results for the quarter and full-year 2018, Menke says: “Our progress gives me confidence in our 2019 expectations.”
Sabre is forecasting an increase in revenue by up to 6% to just over $4 billion in 2019.