Tripadvisor eyes sustainable profit growth in 2023 as it returns to the black

Tripadvisor eyes sustainable profit growth in 2023 as it returns to the black

The global travel reviews giant earned $20 million net income in 2022, a turnaround from the $148 million loss it reported for the previous COVID pandemic-hit year

Tripadvisor saw a return to profitability in 2022 turning around a $148 million loss in 2021 to end the year with a $20 million net income.

The travel reviews giant’s fourth quarter and full year results to the year ended December 31 was said to have brought a strong performance for the 12 months across the business.

Total revenue of $1.5 billion was 65%, equating to a recover to 96% of revenues Tripadvisor reported in pre-pandemic 2019.

The firm’s core business was up 45% to $966 million, tours and activities division Viator up 168% to $493 million and restaurant booking service TheFork up 48% to $126 million. The final three months of 2022 saw net income improve by 90% to a loss of $3  million.

In a trading statement this week Tripadvisor said: “Improvement during Q4 2022 and the full year 2022 was primarily driven by increased consumer demand for travel industry related services as travel actvity restrictions eased and the travel industry continued to recover, despite the impact of foreign currency fluctuations which we estimate negatively impacted total revenue growth during the fourth quarter and the full year 2022 by approximately 8% and 10%, respectively.”

Total adjusted EBITDA (another measure of profitability) for the year also saw improvement driven by Tripadvisor’s core hotels business which saw a 95% improvement to $345 million.

However, TheFork and Viator both continued to record losses ($11 million and $39 million respectively) despite both reporting improved year-on-year trading in 2022.

Non-GAAP net income for the year stood at $109 million, a reverse on the $41 million loss in 2021 and the fourth quarter also returned to the positive with $24 million income after a £1 million loss last year.

Chief executive Matt Goldberg said: “We are pleased with our fourth quarter, which exceeded our expectations and brought to close a strong fiscal 2022 across each of our segments.

“Our results reflect a combination of continued strength in the travel industry, the value our portfolio provides to travellers and partners, and the focus of our teams. 

“As we enter 2023, we will continue to leverage these strengths while identifying new opportunities to reinforce and accelerate our performance and drive sustainable profitable growth.” 

Total operating expenses were $367 million for the fourth quarter, an increase of 36% year-on-year, and $1.39 billion for the full year, an increase of 35%.

Tripadvisor said this was down to increases in costs of credit card payments and transaction costs for Viator, a 67% increase in marketing costs for the year, a 5% increase in technology and content costs and 3% increase in general and administrative costs. 

As of December 31, Tripadvisor was holding $1.02 billion of cash and cash equivalents, an increase of $298 million from December 31, 2021, due to an increase in operating cash flows.

Mike Noonan, chief Ffnancial officer, said: “In 2022, we delivered solid year-over-year revenue growth of 65% and witnessed a healthy increase in profit margins. 

“Our performance is indicative of our focused execution as we sought to invest in the growth areas of our business while driving operating efficiencies across the company. As we look to 2023 and beyond, we expect to maintain this approach as we pursue opportunities across our company’s portfolio.”