Expedia reports lower Q1 profit after spending on tech upgrades, expansion

Expedia reports lower Q1 profit after spending on tech upgrades, expansion
News from The Seattle Times:

Bellevue-based Expedia said Thursday it benefited from a recovery in business travel and a surge in hotel-room bookings during the first three months of 2011, though its profit suffered from increased spending on technology and marketing.

The online travel agency posted a first-quarter profit of $ 52 million, or 19 cents a share, down 12 percent from $ 59.4 million, or 20 cents, a year ago.

Without one-time costs, Expedia would have seen a per-share profit of 25 cents, just shy of Wall Street’s forecast of 26 cents.

Revenue rose 15 percent to $ 822.2 million, surpassing analysts’ projection of $ 795 million.

The company’s overall growth rate was matched by a 15 percent increase in hotel-room bookings.

Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi also said Egencia, Expedia’s business-travel company, reported a 36 percent jump in first-quarter bookings.

“It’s fair to say that the recovery in business travel is under way,” he said.

Another area of stre…………… continues on The Seattle Times
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Related News:

On the Call: Starwood exec discusses supply
News from Forbes:
By The Associated Press, 04.28.11, 12:56 PM EDT

The lodging industry is beginning to recover from the recession, when businesses and consumers cut their travel spending and hotel companies responded by cutting prices and slowing construction of new hotels.

During a conference call on Thursday, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. investor relations vice president Jason Koval addressed a question about market supply after executives said New York City has 7 percent more hotel rooms than it did last year.

QUESTION: In New York, are we still seeing supply come in or has most of it come in during the first four months of the year? And are there any markets outside of New York and the U.S. where there may also be some impact from (new) supply?

KOVAL: There are additional units opening over the coming year (in New York). New York is the only market I …………… continues on Forbes

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