Top-line figures from the financials show that gross bookings for Priceline Inc during the year came in at $7.4bn, a 53.2% increase over 2007. Full-year 2008 revenues were $1.9 billion, a 33.7% increase over a year ago.
US analysts were interested in booking.com’s recent announcement that it has taken over the hotel booking channel on ryanair.com. “We think we’ve got a very good deal and transaction that fits well with what Ryanair is looking for in terms of a hotel booking service and fits well for us.”
Ryanair formerly used Expedia as its hotel booking partner. That deal ended acrimoniously during 2008, and subject to ongoing legal proceedings.
Booking.com increased its supplier base by 47% year-over-year, and now has relationships with more than 60,000 properties in over 70 countries around the world.
In the US, its name your own price tool was talked up as being a decade-old which is now coming into its own during the current climate. The product has been given a limited presence in Europe, and there were no indications that this is likely to change in the short term. “I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that at some point in time we would try and do a discounted offering in some international geographies but I wouldn’t hold it out at this point in time as being central to what we’re going to be doing over the next 12 months.”
Despite the global economic slowdown, the business remains in expansive mood. Robert Mylod, head of Worldwide Strategy and Planning, told analysts: “Our view is that there’s plenty of places left on this planet for us to bring the booking.com brand, the priceline brand, the agoda brand, and so we continue to open offices in new cities and hiring people.”