Mobile and global expansion fuels Skyscanner growth in 2015

Mobile and global expansion fuels Skyscanner growth in 2015

Edinburgh-based global price comparison site Skyscanner saw revenues rise to £120 million in 2015, a 28% increase on the previous year.

Reporting its year-end results to December 31 today, the firm reported a particular momentum in the second half of 2015.

It said that, excluding the impact of unfavourable exchange rates, revenues were up 34% for the whole year and 36% in the second half.

EBITDA, a measure of profitability, was £22 million, up 5% on 2014 and gross bookings for the year were valued at $11.2 billion, up 49% year-on-year.

Gareth Williams, Skyscanner chief executive and co-founder, said: “2015 was another strong year for Skyscanner, showing solid progress in our strategy of expansion beyond our home market, into mobile and beyond flights.

“Our first-half focus on investing in our product drove momentum for the business in the second half.

“We also saw excellent growth in travellers planning their trips on Skyscanner all around the world, especially on mobile and in the important regions of Asia Pacific and the Americas.

“Skyscanner’s global coverage, our direct relationships with partners and travellers and the self-built technology that underpins our success, account for our solid performance in 2015.”

Beyond Skyscanner’s original flight price comparison business, Skyscanner for Business, the company’s B2B arm, saw revenue double.

During the year, Skyscanner for Business launched its own car hire white label product and increased partners 75% to 400, including major brands such as MSN.

Revenue from Skyscanner’s car hire product grew by 71% in 2015.

Skyscanner set out a series of key milestones for the company in 2015:

• Visitors in 2015 grew 48% over the prior year, with a record 50 million monthly visitors.
• Mobile visitors grew 60% and now represent 59% of total visitors, up seven percentage points in just twelve months.
• Mobile web bookings grew by 24% year on year, comprising 42% of all conversions.
• In Asia Pacific visitors grew 48% last year while mobile visitors grew 62% year over year.
• In China, a focus for Skyscanner since the acquisition of Youbibi in 2014, visitors grew 67% and mobile visitors nearly doubled.
• The Americas region saw 55% growth in visitors last year,and mobile visitors in the region nearly doubled. The company also launched in Mexico.
• Visitors in Europe grew 42%, with mobile visitors growing 55%.
• Skyscanner’s apps have been downloaded more than 40 million times in total.

    Skyscanner said it took steps in 2015 to improve its product for travellers and partners and to bolster the pool of talent that builds the product and takes it to market.

    It opened two new offices last year including engineering hubs in London and Sofia, in addition to the expansion of existing facilities in Budapest and Miami.

    The company took on over 280 new hires in 2015 and technical talent now makes up half of the firm’s 770 strong team across the world.

    Skyscanner marked up several industry firsts for the company in 2015, including an artificial intelligence voice search tool for Amazon’s Alexa and the first ticket sold using new NDC capabilities with British Airways.

    The company also introduced a facilitated booking service with a number of partners, including Air Canada.

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