The third quarter of this year saw Booking Holdings achieve its highest quarterly revenue and adjusted EBITDA ever, the company reports.
Revenue in the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, 2022, surged 29% year-on-year to $6.1 billion; adjusted EBITDA rose 26% year-on-year to $2.7 billion.
“We took another important step in our company’s recovery from a profitability perspective,” Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel said in a conference call with investors. “Our Q3 revenue and adjusted EBITDA were 20% and 7% higher than Q3 2019.”
Booking Holding’s net income for the quarter reached $1.7 billion – up 117% year-on-year.
Gross travel bookings in Q3 2022 climbed to $32.1 billion, an increase of 36% from the same quarter last year. Room nights booked rose 31% year-on-year. Marketing expenses for the quarter came in at $1.8 billion, up from $1.4 billion in Q3 2021.
“I am encouraged by the strong results we’re reporting today and by the record level of travel during our peak summer season,” Fogel says. “In the third quarter, our customers booked 240 million room nights - a little under a quarter of a million room nights – which was 8% higher than in Q3 2019.”
Looking ahead to Q4, gross bookings in October are up about 30%, driven by continuing recovery in Asia and slight improvements in Europe, the company says.
Despite economic headwinds, the online travel giant hasn’t seen customers reduce the length of trips, according to Fogel.
“Despite the rising concern around the macroeconomic environment, we are encouraged by the slight improvement in room night growth we have seen in October and by the level of bookings for travel in early 2023,” Fogel says.
For Booking.com, 60% of room nights were booked through mobile phones. Forty-five percent were booked through the company’s mobile app – a 10% increase over 2019. Fogel expects app bookings to increase.
App use is important because it gives Booking.com more opportunities to engage with travelers, he says. The key to steering mobile users away from browsers and to the app is to “provide a great experience, and they’ll come back and tell other people,” Fogel explains.
The company also plans to grow its Genius loyalty program and aims to have more competitive pricing. Forty percent of payments were made through Booking.com’s platform in Q3 – the highest quarterly rate ever, Fogel says. The platform has also seen an increase in supply of alternative accommodations.
There’s still too little awareness of Booking’s flights business, Fogel says, adding, “Our flight product is not yet as good as it should be. We’ll continue to improve upon in it.” In December of last year, Booking Holdings acquired ETraveli Group for €1.63 billion.