Priceline Inc has acknowledged advertising revenues from its booking.com “could be an opportunity” despite current ad income from the site being close to “non-existent”.
Jeffery Boyd, Priceline chief executive, told analysts: “Advertising could be an opportunity over time, but we are going to be careful because we are experiencing nice unit-growth rates and don’t want to do anything that could interfere with that.”
Priceline announced an increase of 17.5% in second-quarter revenue year on year to $603.7 million. The group declined to give details of the market performance of booking.com and its Asia-Pacific bedbank agoda.com. However, Boyd said: “You can’t report the high unit growth rate numbers we have reported without having good solid growth in the established core western Europe markets.”
The holiday market in Europe had proved more resilient than feared so far this summer, he added, but at the expense of margin.
Boyd said: “When we got into the summer season, there was an open question as to whether the leisure traveller would show up. The numbers we have reported and our competition has reported indicate leisure travel demand was better than expected, and part of that was driven by the availability of a lot of low prices.”