Travelocity.com Inc., the leading travel Web site, reached an important milestone in becoming one of the few profitable Internet companies by reporting a net profit excluding special items as well as positive cash flow for the first quarter of 2001.
Gross travel bookings grew 65% over the first quarter of last year and 20% over the prior quarter to $833.6 million. At $72.9 million, revenues were 104% higher than the quarter a year ago and 11% higher than last year`s fourth quarter. Gross profit of $47.7 million improved 141% and 7% over the first and fourth quarters of 2000, respectively. Net profit, excluding special items described below, was $618,000 or $0.03 per share for the quarter.
During the quarter, Travelocity`s membership rose by 2 million to 27 million members and the conversion ratio increased to 8.9%, compared to 4.7% in the first quarter of last year and 8.1% in the prior quarter. Average monthly unique bookers were 661,000, up 67% from 395,000 for the same period a year ago and up 26% from 525,000 for the prior quarter. During the quarter, 1.1 million hotel room nights were booked, representing a 50% increase over the fourth quarter.
``On April 3 we celebrated Travelocity`s fifth birthday, which marks a major milestone for an Internet company,`` said Terrell B. Jones, president and chief executive officer of Travelocity. ``During those years, we have been consistent in building and executing our successful business model. We have continually introduced new features and innovations that keep Travelocity in a leadership position, and we have been disciplined in accomplishing our operating goals time and again. Our results prove that the concept of booking travel on the Internet works.``
``We are pleased with the first quarter performance and Travelocity`s resilience within a slower economy,`` commented Ramesh Punwani, chief financial officer. ``With a positive EBITDA of $3.4 million in the first quarter, we have reached a key mark in the Company`s history a quarter ahead of schedule. Our liquidity improved as well to $86.1 million in cash and marketable securities at the end of the quarter, without taking on any debt. Despite economic pressures, we are projecting modest growth during the remaining three quarters of the year with a net profit, excluding special items, that will range from $0.17 to $0.21 per share for 2001.``