Booking Holdings beats profit estimates on strong travel demand

(Reuters) – Booking Holdings Inc reported a better-than-expected profit for the first quarter on Thursday, as the online travel agency benefited from pent-up demand that drove consumers to book flights and hotels despite worries of an imminent recession.

Shares of the company rose 1% to $2,630.5 after the bell.


Major players in the hospitality industry in the last few quarters have gained from flexible work arrangements and a strong U.S. dollar which has helped them offset high labor and maintenance costs.

“We saw a strong start to the year with first-quarter room nights and gross bookings reaching our highest quarterly levels ever and both metrics surpassing our previous expectations,” said Chief Executive Glenn Fogel.

While experts in the industry largely remain confident about demand in the near-term, high inflation and concerns around a potential slowdown, however, threaten consumer spending.

Last month, U.S. hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc signaled signs of travel demand weakening in the second half of the year after it raised its full-year profit outlook.

Booking reported an adjusted profit of $11.60 per share in the quarter ended March 31, compared to analysts’ estimate of $10.61 per share, as per Refinitiv data.

Its revenues rose 40% to $3.78 billion, in line with estimates of $3.77 billion.

(Reporting by Priyamvada C and Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shailesh Kuber)