Sabre sees air revenue surge, considers hospitality acquisitionsNewsBy Sean O'Neil | October 29, 2015Share This article was originally published on Sabre consolidated third quarter revenue increased to $785 million, up about 17% relative to $672.5 million for the same period last year.That represented an 18% in gross profit rise, compared to the same quarter in the previous year.A significant share of that growth was from Sabre's hotel business.Recent big contract wins were with Wyndham Hotel Group (for a property management solution and a central reservations platform) and with Four Seasons Hotels. The company is talking with all 20 of the big hotel candidates for enterprise systems.Chief financial officer Rick Simonson said to analysts that the company was considering different acquisitions. "We think we've opened up an advantage on the hospitality enterprise side.... We'll continue investing organically to develop those products and features to develop the next level of scale in the platform... and we're selectively looking at doing acquisition in the hospitality space as well, both for product feature or scale acquisitions to the extent they might be available."Share this quote Sabre CEO Tom Klein cited a hospitality product feature he thought would appeal to hoteliers looking for more direct bookings. In May, the company launched an "in-context suite" for its SynXis booking engine. "That's one where a hotel is able to provide offers to the customer based on where they are on the website. So if someone is tipping their hat on what they're looking for, such as looking at the family fun page of a hotel's website, they can now buy something off the page they're looking at with an offer targeted to someone interested in family travel.... Hoteliers aren't seeing solutions like that from some of our competitors."Share this quote Going after the property management system segment more assertively is another goal, he said.Air growthSabre said that it had sold $350 million in new products to airlines since its IPO in April 2014.In the US, Sabre's air global distribution system growth was 6% for the quarter.In North America, share is up about 2 points in North America. The company says it has much higher share in the corporate market than its national average share. Some of those travel management company (TMC) players are growing stronger than leisure players, lifting Sabre along the way.Klein says he thinks market share gain Europe is likely, with a point to a point-and-a-half gain a year achievable in the next few years.In the third quarter, Sabre credits some of the revenue surge to its integration of Abacus, the Asian-Pacific GDS it recently acquired.Looking ahead Klein says the integration will let the company's investment in Asia be better aligned with its opportunities with the best customers in the region.Abacus previously had multiple airline stakeholders, which led to debates in strategy. Klein says that Sabre's direct control will assure “better align investments in markets like India where the venture wasn’t performing optimally.”Sabre's game plan is to strengthen its APAC contracts with TMCs, where Sabre has historical strength. "We see chances to increase share in APAC over time.... The integration work going well... especially with instilling discipline into sales and account management."Share this quote For the quarter, Sabre-wide in APAC saw revenue increase 6%. But margins are down a bit on the air GDS side because of the Abacus integration, due to expenses.Klein declined to talk about Lufthansa’s statements earlier today that it saw some headwinds on overseas bookings after launching its fee on third-party bookings.He only said that, in general, when you're not priced competitively in this industry, you don’t perform well.Lufthansa Group overall represents only about 2% of Sabre's revenue.