‘Bullish’ Momondo reports record quarterly visitor numbers as switch to meta cements brands

‘Bullish’ Momondo reports record quarterly visitor numbers as switch to meta cements brands

Cheapflights parent Momondo Group has reported a record 95 million first quarter visits to its sites and a 23% year-on-year increase in revenue to £20.5 million.

The private equity-backed metasearch and deals publisher forecasts full year group revenues will increase by 30% over last year.

It reported increased levels of direct brand traffic attributed to investment in brand TV advertising and its switch to metasearch in key markets like the UK.

Repeat visit rate stands at 51%, an increase of over 30% compared to 2011.

Mobile now accounts for 60% of the group’s traffic across all its brands and app revenue has increased 149% year on year, the firm reported.

The trading update coincides with the fifth anniversary of the appointment of Momondo Group’s chief executive Hugo Burge.

He has led a strategy to transition to metasearch and internationalisation following the acquisition of Momondo in 2011.

Today, 89% of group revenue is now generated from outside of the UK, up from 84% in 2015.

Cheapflights, a UK dot com pioneer that originally set out to compete with offline travel advertising models, marks its 20th anniversary this year.

Burge said: “Our first quarter results for 2016 have caused us to be even more bullish about the year ahead. They cement our position as a leader in global travel metasearch.

“The commitment of both the Momondo and Cheapflights teams to build products users love underpins this strong revenue growth and market share gain.

“I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved in the last five years. It’s an honour to be leading a business built around such a talented team powering two pioneering, global brands shaping and inspiring travel search at a dynamic time for our sector.

“Especially exciting is our success in mobile, which now accounts for nearly two-thirds of all demand for our products.

“Our collective attention is firmly focused on further harnessing that demand with intuitive, mobile-friendly products. I’m looking forward to accelerated growth in the year ahead.”

Momondo Group is also just over one year into an “accelerated investment strategy” backed by lead investor, Great Hill Partners.

It says its focus on developing user and mobile-friendly products and further growth internationally will enable it to meet its growth targets for this year.

First quarter trading saw Momondo increase revenue 30% on the same period last year.

The brand is particularly strong in the Nordics, and Momondo said it is performing well in newer markets like Germany and Portugal, where it began television advertising last year.

Investment in TV has accelerated in 2016 with expansion into four new European markets with other countries and regions due to be tested throughout the year.

App revenue grew nearly 100% year-on-year, Momondo saying its mobile-first strategy continues to pay dividends.

Cheapflights grew 14% year-on-year in the first quarter, with further growth expected throughout 2016.

Momondo said the transition to meta has seen Cheapflights return to long-term growth and visitor numbers are up 40% year-on-year, 50% of which are now repeat users.

The firm claimed direct to site traffic has increased by 190% as a result of the switch to meta.

In the US revenue is up 25% and over 150% growth in emerging metasearch markets including Australia, South Africa and the Far East.

Cheapflights also saw a 36% increase in newsletter advertising revenue year-on-year, and a 348% rise in app revenue.

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