Trivago is reporting adjusted EBITDA of €21.1 million in the
first quarter of this year – but that figure does not take into account the
massive fine levied against the German metasearch company less than two weeks
On April 22, the Australian Federal Court ordered Trivago to pay a €30.2 million penalty for making misleading claims about hotel
room rates online and in television advertising. The court found Trivago claimed
to help users identify the best rates for a given hotel when in fact it was
promoting rooms of its paid advertisers.
In a statement accompanying its Q1 financial results,
Trivago says: “The decision of the Australian Federal Court had a significant
negative impact on our operating expenses in the first quarter of 2022,
resulting in a negative impact on operating expenses of €21.1 million and
leading to a net loss of €10.7 million. Due to the size and unusual nature of
the accrual relating to the judgement of the Australian Federal Court and its
distorting effect on the understanding of our underlying business developments,
we decided to exclude it when calculating adjusted EBITDA.”
Total revenue in Q1 increased by 166%, to €101.6 million,
from just €38.2 million in the same period of 2021, driven by the recovery of demand
in Europe and the Americas.
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Referral revenue increased most dramatically in Europe - up
358% year-over-year to €43.5 million. In the Americas referral revenue was up 139%,
to €43.7 million, and in RoW (rest of the world) it was up 35%. Trivago says
the increase was driven by an increase in qualified referrals and revenue per
qualified referral across all segments.
Total qualified referrals increased by 62% year-over-year
due to increased traffic volumes as COVID restrictions eased.
“The conflict in Ukraine had a negative impact on traffic
volumes in Developed Europe and RoW, particularly in Central Eastern Europe,
but was more than offset by the recovery in travel demand,” the company says.
Consolidated revenue per qualified referral increased by 68%
compared to Q1 2021. Trivago says this is due to “significantly” increased bids
from most of its advertisers.
The company says that as most COVID restrictions are phased
out in Q2, it expects to see further improvement in its metrics in the coming months.
“Going forward, we plan to significantly ramp up our
marketing investments in our core markets in the second quarter of 2022, while
closely monitoring overall marketing efficiency,” it says.
As of March 31, Trivago says its marketplace has more than five
million hotels and other types of accommodation – including more than 3.8
million units of vacation rentals and apartments - in more than 190 countries.