Global Travel Distribution has reported its first quarter 2003 results for the period ended 31 March 2003.
In travel distribution, total bookings, including the leisure bookings of Start Amadeus, which Amadeus fully consolidated in March, grew by 1.6%, while bookings excluding Start leisure declined by 2.1% over the period.
In adverse market conditions, Amadeus was able to increase its global share of air travel reservations made by travel agencies by 2.6 percentage points (pp) to 29.1%, making it the largest travel agency GDS for the second consecutive quarter. Amadeus grew its market share in every continent, most strongly in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe by 6.2pp to 53.8%; in Western Europe by 3.5pp to 54.5% and in Africa and the Middle East by 4.5pp to 18.6%.
In North America, Amadeus bookings declined by 11.9%, albeit less than the total market, thus raising Amadeus’s share by 0.2pp to 8.6%.
In markets where Amadeus traditionally has a high market share, it has been able to hold or grow that share during the quarter, as, for example in Spain which has seen reservations growth of 18.4%, taking the market share up 1pp to 94.6%.
Total revenues were up by 4.5% to €502.7m. Non-reservation related revenues increased 35.3% to €116.1m. Of this, revenue from Airline IT Services grew by 52% as more systems for British Airways and Qantas become operational.
The EBITDA margin at 28.1%, hedged against currency fluctuations, remained almost flat against the same period in 2002, as did net income and EBIT margins, showing the positive effect of cost containment even as Amadeus consolidated the Start and ICSA-T acquisitions.
Commenting on the results Jose Antonio Tazon
, President and CEO of Amadeus, said: “The SARS phenomenon is significantly affecting global and, especially, Asian travel as our most recent data indicate. The outlook for the industry will remain unclear until more certainty regarding the containment of SARS can be established. We will continue to work at maintaining margins and seeking growth opportunities through business and geographical diversification.”
Amadeus continues to focus on the extension of its business lines into IT services and e-commerce to meet the developing requirements of the travel and tourism industry, however the company have said it cannot meaningfully forecast performance while visibility remains so low for the industry as a whole in relation, for example, to the SARS effect. The company will provide forecast data as soon as feasible.